Search


Found 5177 Result(s)

Government Actions against Richard A. Marschall, N.D.

Naturopath Richard A, Marschall operated the Natural Healing Clinic in Port Angeles, Washington. for many years. In 1998, the Washington Board of Naturopathy disciplined him for unprofessional conduct that involved treating an out-of-state patient he had not examined for “functional hypothyroidism”—an alleged condition sometimes referred to as “Wilson’s Syndrome.” In 2010, Marschall was criminally convicted …

Naturopath Richard A, Marschall operated the Natural Healing Clinic in Port Angeles, Washington. for many years. In 1998, the Washington Board of Naturopathy disciplined him for unprofessional conduct that involved treating an out-of-state patient he had not examined for “functional hypothyroidism”—an alleged condition sometimes referred to as “Wilson’s Syndrome.” In 2010, Marschall was criminally convicted of illegally marketing a growth hormone product (HCG) for weight loss. In 2013, in response to this conviction, the board disciplined him again. In 2015, he surrendered his naturopathic license. In 2017, he was convicted again for illegally marketing HCG. In 2018, in response to this conviction, the board revoked his license with no right to reapply for it. In April 2020, he was charged with a federal felony related to his attempts to promote a misbranded drug as a prevention for COVID-19. This article describes these enforcement actions in detail.

Wilson’s Syndrome

For more than 20 years, “functional hypothyroidism” has been promoted as “Wilson’s Syndrome,” a term concocted by E. Denis Wilson, M.D., who practiced in Florida in the early 1990s. The syndrome’s supposed manifestations include fatigue, headaches, PMS, hair loss, irritability, fluid retention, depression, decreased memory, low sex drive, unhealthy nails, easy weight gain, and about 60 other symptoms. Wilson claims to have discovered a type of abnormally low thyroid function in which routine blood tests of thyroid are often normal. He states that the main diagnostic sign is a body temperature that averages below 98.6° F (oral), and that the diagnosis is confirmed if the patient responds to treatment with a “special thyroid hormone treatment.” [1]

In 1992, the Florida Board of Medicine fined Wilson $10,000, suspended his license for six months, and ordered him to undergo psychological testing [2]. Although he does not appear to have resumed practice, his ideas are still promoted by the Wilson’s Syndrome Foundation.

Wilson’s syndrome is not recognized by the scientific community as a legitimate diagnostic entity. In 1999, the American Thyroid Association issued a strongly worded statement that concluded:

  • The proposed basis for “Wilson’s syndrome” is inconsistent with well-known and widely-accepted facts about thyroid hormone production, metabolism, and action.
  • The diagnostic criteria for “Wilson’s syndrome”—nonspecific symptoms and body temperature measurement—are imprecise.
  • There is no scientific evidence that T3 therapy is better than a placebo would be for management of nonspecific symptoms, such as those that have been described as part of “Wilson’s syndrome,” in individuals with and normal thyroid hormone concentrations,
  • T3 therapy results in wide fluctuations in T3 concentrations in blood and body tissues. This produces symptoms and cardiovascular complications in some patients, and is potentially dangerous [3].

Note: Although “Wilson’s Syndrome”—as defined by Dr. Wilson—is a bogus diagnosis, there is a Wilson’s disease, a rare condition caused by a defect in the body’s ability to metabolize copper.

Disciplinary Action in 1998

In May 1994, a local newspaper reported that Marschall had learned about “Wilson’s Syndrome” by studying Wilson’s publications and had consulted Wilson by phone. The article said that Marschall was treating more than 200 Wilson’s Syndrome patients and that the cost of the initial diagnosis, including the blood test, was $400 [4]. Court documents filed on September 30, 1997, by Washington’s Secretary of Health state:

  • In 1994, Marschall “met” Patient A, a California resident, through an online computer service and discussed Patient A’s health concerns via the online service. Soon thereafter, Marschall mailed the patient a personal history form, a fee schedule, a patient/physician contract to read and sign, and instructions on how to take her temperatures. After reading Patient A’s completed personal history form and temperature log, he diagnosed the patient as suffering from a thyroid problem and determined treatment for that diagnosis in a telephone conversation with the patient.
  • Marschall never performed a physical examination of Patient A and did not order or perform the standard laboratory tests used for appropriate diagnosis of thyroid malfunction. Despite this, in January 1994, he prescribed a synthetic thyroid hormone (liothyronine) that was mailed to patient A from Bellgrove Pharmacy in Bellevue, Washington.
  • In 1995, Marschall diagnosed and treated between 75 and 100 long-distance patients for “functional hypothyroidism” solely via telephone, online computer services, and/or by mail. He prescribed liothyronine for at least five of them who resided in states other than Washington.
  • The standard recommended dosage of liothyronine is between 25 and 75 micrograms per day. Marschall prescribed dosages as great as 300 micrograms per day, with about 25% of his “functional hypothyroidism” patients receiving doses greater than 200 micrograms per day. Excessive ingestion of liothyronine is hazardous and can result in death. Unprofessional conduct, as defined by Washington’s laws and regulations, includes conduct that “creates an unreasonable risk that a patient may be harmed.” [5]

During the proceedings, Marschall claimed that he had based his diagnosis of Patient A on laboratory records obtained from the Kaiser Foundation Hospital/Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. However, Kaiser personnel stated that the records were not requested until 1998, and Patient A stated that she had not signed any release for Marschall to get her records [6].

In 1998, the Washington State Department of Health suspended Marschall’s license for 30 months with the provision that he could continue practicing if he did not treat out-of-state patients without physically examining them and treating them in tandem with a health-care professional from the state where the patient resides. He also agreed to pay a $3,000 administrative fine and to permit a Health Department investigator to audit records and review what he was doing twice a year for a two-year period [7]. The proceedings did not address whether “Wilson’s syndrome” is a genuine entity or whether the factual details in the complaint were accurate.

Criminal Prosecution

In February 2009, customs agents intercepted a package of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) that was addressed to Marschall from India. To be properly labeled, HCG must contain a warning that it has not been demonstrated effective for the treatment of obesity. The FDA then sent Marschall a detention notice which said that the drug was improperly labeled and would be released to him only if he provided a good reason to believe that the product complied with the law. He replied:

I am an endocrinologist, a hormone expert. I use Human Chorionic Gonadotropin to treat infertile patients. I require it in 5,000 units ampules most of the time. Some times use 10,000 unit ampules which I can get from American pharmaceutical manufacturers. But American manufacturers do not make 5,000 unit ampules. HCG has only a 60 day shelf life so when I need 5,000 unit ampules to treat over a longer period of time I must purchase them from pharmaceutical manufacturers who make it that way and they happen to be in other countries. I have been in practice 23 years and I have a lot of experience with HCG. The HCG that I get from these suppliers works just as well as the HCG I get from US manufacturers and cost about the same.

I hope you will release my shipment soon, I have several patients in need of treatment. If I can answer any other questions you have please email me [8].

The FDA did not release the shipment to Marschall. In July 2009, customs agents detained a similar HCG shipment and sent Marschall another detention notice. Despite these notices, Marschall ordered (and received) illegally manufactured HCG from a compounding pharmacy in Florida—which FDA investigators found by searching the trash picked up at his clinic. In 2010, federal agents searched Marschall’s clinic and seized computers, patient files, and dozens of boxes of HCG. During the search, Marschall falsely told FDA official that he prescribed HCG for infertility. However, his Web site stated that he used it for weight-loss. (In fact, in 2009 and 2010, the site claimed that users of his HCG-Slim program would “lose a pound a day and keep it off for life.”) In 2011, Marschall was charged with one count of causing the introduction of misbranded drugs. [9].Shortly afterward, he entered a guilty plea in which he acknowledged that he had lied to the FDA [10]. The court sentenced him to 2 years supervised release and ordered to provide 250 hours of community service and pay a $2,000 fine plus a $100 special assessment. At the sentencing hearing, Marschall told the judge:

It is clear to me that I made a mistake by ordering HCG over the Internet. I will say in my defense that HCG is something that has been used in the world since the 1930s, and it has been used for heart disease and rheumatoid problems, prostatic hypertrophy, for immune system disregulation, as well as for weight loss. I have been using it for all those different things.

So when my sources in America were unable to provide me—and I contacted every possible compounding pharmacy from California to the East Coast to try to get HCG through my normal channels. I never ordered off of the Internet for any other reason than this.

I felt, knowing that it was at least a misdemeanor to do so, that in my belief system, according to the philosophy I was trained under at the University of Santa Clara, you can break a civil law in pursuit of a higher moral law. So in my opinion, in my belief at the time, getting HCG for patients who had benign prostatic hypertrophy, who were struggling with cancer as well as weight problems and an inability to get pregnant and heart disease and several of the conditions that this amazing compound, this natural compound was providing benefit for, if they couldn’t supply—if the three American manufacturing suppliers couldn’t provide it for me and the Canadians had documented safety evidence for their HCG, which is what they told me and what I was aware of from other sources and other patients who were getting it from the same place, then I did break the law and I did do that.

And as soon as—I guess you might say some people would have said to me that you are a victim of your own success, meaning about the 13th clinic that I could ascertain by 2008 to provide HCG for any reason, other than undescended testicles and infertility which the FDA has approved it for. I was training other doctors around—some of my fellow naturopathic doctors who are endocrinology trained in our own way.

They started ordering, and we couldn’t get it domestically, so in fact we got it this way, not just myself, but as many Americans do, when they can’t get their own pharmaceutical drugs that they either can’t get or afford, they do it through that way. I was looking for another source and within just several months, it came available in Florida. And at the time the FDA actually took my HCG, they took domestic HCG from my clinic, a thousand dollars worth which they never returned, and it only has a shelf life of six months, so that’s the case.

I guess if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have done it. It was a mistake. Look what it has gotten me into here. Even with the benefit of these patients, I broke the law. So I don’t intend to ever do that again, ever [11].

Further Government Actions

In 2012, following his conviction, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) charged Marschall with unprofessional conduct [12 ]. The charges included (a) improperly representing himself as a “bariatric endocrinologist” and (b) being convicted for trafficking in human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which he was illegally prescribing as a weight loss drug. The charges were settled with an agreed order under which:

  • Marschall admitted that between 2008 and 2010, he prescribed HCG to approximately 170 patients who lived outside of Washington State and had never seen him in person.
  • The DOH fined him $10,000, suspended his license for at least one year, ordered him to take continuing education courses in ethics, endocrinology, and obesity.
  • Marschall was ordered to remove references to HCG from his Web site and indicate that all new patients must be examined during their initial visit.
  • If his license is reinstated, he must serve seven years on probation with semi-annual record audits for one year and annual audits for four years [13].

In 2014, while his license was under suspension, the board learned that Marschall was still holding himself out as a practicing naturopath, soliciting patients, and prescribing drugs. In fact, pages on archive.org indicate that he continuously advertised naturopathic services at his Natural Healing Clinic until at least the end of 2014 [14]. In September 2015, he signed an agreed order that required him to pay a $5,000 fine and permanently cease and desist from practicing naturopathy in the State of Washington without a requisite health credential [15]. However, he continued doing business as “Rick Marschall, N.D.” at his Natural Healing Clinic. The clinic Web site stated:

After 31 years I have retired from prescriptive practice. I have let go of my license to practice medicine or naturopathic medicine in the State of Washington and I am not licensed to prescribe prescription drugs in the State of Washington or plan to do so anywhere else. I have learned how to help people with significant health challenges in a more effective, sustainable and inexpensive way without the need for drugs for most issues. Read on and then call me at no charge to discuss whether this diet and lifestyle change is of interest to you [16].

The treatments mentioned on his site included “nutritional counseling,” “sex hormone balancing,” “constitutional homeopathic energy medicine,” but government investigators found that he was still prescribing HCG to patients. In 2017, Marschall pleaded guilty to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and was fined $2.000 and sentenced to two months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. Documents in the case state:

  • Between February 2014 and February 2017, Marschall prescribed HCG to about 60 individuals for weight loss.
  • Marschall obtained the HGH from various compounding pharmacies by lying about the states of his license and DEA registration number.
  • In September 2016, two Washington Department of Health investigators went undercover as patients and listened as Marschall touted HCG for weight-loss and described how he would set up a program of injections for them.
  • Later that fall, Marschall communicated via email with an undercover FDA criminal investigator, conducted a one-hour telephone screening, and, without meeting or examining the patients, mailed HCG to her at a cost of $550 for a one-month supply [17,18].

In 2018, Marschall signed an agreed order under which Marschall admitted that he had been practicing naturopathy illegally since 2013. The order also “permanently enjoined from the practice of naturopathic medicine, and from representing himself as a naturopathic physician or using the initials ‘ND’, the title ‘doctor’ or ‘naturopath’, or any other similar title, without the requisite health care credential [19]. However, he continued to market himself himself a “health coach” and “retired” naturopath.

In March 2020, FDA criminal investigators began reviewing complaints from the public about postings on Facebook and a website linked to Marschall which claimed that a “Dynamic Duo” of substances could kill viruses, including the coronavirus. A few days later, an FDA undercover investigator phoned Marschall  and was told that one of the substances “doesn’t boost the immune system, it just kills the virus” and the other would boost the production of white blood cells that attack infections. The agent bought some “Dynamic Duo,” which came with documents which stated that the products “can crush 30 different viral infections, including those in the Corona family, (like in China Corona-19), 40 different bacterial infections, 25 different fungal infections and 20 different parasitic infections like amoebas.” Marschall is charged with introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce [20].

If Marschall is convicted, I hope the court can devise a sentence that will persuade him to permanently stop selling any type of health product, service, or advice.

References
  1. Wilson ED. Wilson’s Syndrome: The Miracle of Feeling Well, 2nd edition. Orlando, Florida: Cornerstone Publishing Co., 1991.
  2. Disciplinary actions: E. Denis Wilson (MD #0048922) Longwood Florida, 2/12/92). Board of Medicine 8(2):10, 1992. Florida Department of Professional Regulation, Tallahassee, Florida.
  3. American Thyroid Association statement on “Wilson’s Syndrome.” Revised Nov 16, 1999.
  4. Dawson M. ‘Miracle’ cure has side effects. Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, Washington, May 8, 1994.
  5. State of Washington, Department of Health, Naturopathy Program. Statement of charges. Docket No. 97-09-B-1045 NT, Sept 30, 1997.
  6. State of Washington, Department of Health, Naturopathy Program. Amended statement of charges. Docket No. 97-09-B-1045 NT, April 17, 1998.
  7. State of Washington, Department of Health, Naturopathy Program. Stipulated findings of fact, conclusions of law, and agreed order. Docket No. 97-09-B-1045 NT, July 20, 1998.
  8. Petroff K. Application for a search warrant. The Natural Healing Clinic. March 1, 2010.
  9. Information. U.S.A. v Richard Marschall. U.S. District Court. Western District of Washington at Tacoma, Case No. CR11-5222BHS, April 22,, 2011.
  10. Plea agreement. U.S.A. v Richard Marschall. U.S. District Court. Western District of Washington at Tacoma,Case No.. CR11-5222BHS, May 9, 2011
  11. Transcript of September 26, 2011 sentencing hearing. USA v. Richard Marschall. U.S.A. v Richard Marschall. U.S. District Court. Western District of Washington at Tacoma,Case No.. CR11-5222BHS. .
  12. Statement of charges. In the matter of Richard A. Marschall. Washington Department of Health Board of Naturopathy, Sept 17, 2012.
  13. Stipulated findings of fact, conclusions of law and agreed order. In the matter of Richard A. Marschall. Washington Department of Health Board of Naturopathy, Nov 15, 2013.
  14. Natural Health Clinic home page, archived Dec 30, 2014.
  15. Stipulated findings of fact, conclusions of law, and agreed order to cease and desist. In the matter of Richard A. Marschall. Washington Department of Health, Secretary of Health, Case No. M2015-742, Sept 21, 2015.
  16. Natural Healing Clinic home page, as archived 1917-1919.
  17. Plea agreement. U.S.A. v. Richard Marschall. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Case No. 3:17-cr-05226, filed July 6, 2017.
  18. Government’s sentencing memorandum. U.S.A. v. Richard Marschall. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Case No. 3:17-cr-05226, filed Oct 13, 2017.
  19. Stipulated findings of fact, conclusions of law and and agreed order. In the matter of Richard A. Marschall. Washington Department of Health, Board of Naturopathy, Case No. M2017-857, Oct 19, 2018.
  20. Complaint for violation of Title 21, U.S. Code, Sections 331, 333. U.S.A. v. Richard Marschall, Case No. MJ20-5097, April 29, 2020.


Why Bioresonance Hair Testing Is Preposterous

Several companies claim that bioresonance hair tests can detect nutritional deficiencies; overexposure to heavy metals; and food and environmental intolerances and that the test results will provide a roadmap to better health. Tests are available for pets as well as for humans. This report explains why I believe these claims are preposterous. What Is Bioresonance …

Several companies claim that bioresonance hair tests can detect nutritional deficiencies; overexposure to heavy metals; and food and environmental intolerances and that the test results will provide a roadmap to better health. Tests are available for pets as well as for humans. This report explains why I believe these claims are preposterous.

What Is Bioresonance Testing?

Bruce Copen Laboratories, headquartered in Munich, Germany, describes itself as “the world’s leading company in the field of Quantum Response Technology.” The company was founded by Bruce Copen (1923-1998), who is described on the company’s Web site as a “mastermind” and “radionics pioneer” who founded the British Radionics Association and edited the British Journal of Radiesthesia [1]. The site further states:

  • Copen developed a device that could determine which of 2600 homeopathic remedies could help the patient.
  • Following his death, the current management developed a series of computer-based devices that went beyond his original technology.
  • The latest of the devices—called the Multiple Analytical Resonance System (MARS III)—Is “based on “the science of Quantum Entanglement.” [1]

To perform a bioresonance hair analysis, a hair sample is placed into the input well pictured on the right. Then, according to the company: “an energetic facsimile . . .  is matched and then made into reports” that indicate “where the client’s energy field is blocked or distorted and on which energy level is going on this imbalance.” [2]

Radionics is a pseudoscience based on the notion that diseases can be diagnosed and treated by tuning in on radio-like frequencies allegedly emitted by disease-causing agents and diseased organs. The theory behind it originated with Albert Abrams, M.D. (1864-1924), who developed thirteen devices claimed to detect such frequencies and/or cure people by matching their frequencies. Abrams made millions leasing his devices and was considered by the American Medical Association to be the “dean of gadget quacks.” [3]

I do not believe that placing a hair sample in the input well will influence the output from the device because (a) hair does not emit “frequencies” and (b) the “energy fields” claimed by Abrams and his followers do not exist. It is also well established that the composition of body hair—when measured in a standard chemical laboratory—does not reflect the body’s nutritional status or reveal “intolerances.” [4]

In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration included the MARS III in an import alert that covered “all radionic instruments intended for use in diagnosis of internal diseases” coming from Bruce Copen Laboratories or the Sussex College of Technology. That ban is still in effect [5].

Copen’s Diploma Mill

I addition to marketing radionics devices, Copen sold bogus credentials from the “Sussex College of Technology.” I learned about this when I helped the FBI investigate an American cancer quack named Gregory Caplinger. Evidence in the case revealed that Copen, who operated from his home in East Sussex, issued degrees and transcripts in return for modest payments. When questioned by a Scotland Yard detective, Copen said that Caplinger had obtained a “doctor of science degree in biochemistry and immunology” in 1987 by taking a correspondence course and later sent $70 with a request for transcript that included eight courses plus a dissertation that garnered 58 credit hours. Copen stated that the correspondence course had cost about $400 but he had retained no record of its duration. He also mentioned that he himself had become “doctor of homeopathy” in 1952 by taking a correspondence course. The UK’s Education Reform Act of 1988 stopped Copen from issuing “degrees,” but he continued to issue diplomas [6]. Caplinger was convicted in 1990 of wire fraud and money laundering and was ultimately sentenced to 12 years in prison [7].

Bioresonance Hair Test Results

The MARS III Quantum Response System is used to provide reports to people who mail hair samples to companies that solicit through the Internet. One such company—Modern Allergy Management LLC, of Pensacola, Florida—calls its procedure “hair intolerance testing.” Its Web site states that its $95 “MAM 750 Gold Standard test” can show which of 750 items items can “cause you a reaction due to having an intolerance.” [8] The tests are said be to processed by Biostar Technology S.R.O. in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Sample reports posted to the company’s Web site include the following claims:

  • The nutritional deficiencies test indicates the extent to which vitamins and minerals are retained after consumption  It classifies retention as “high” (excess retention), “best” (ideal), “fair” (normal), or “need” (low retention, for which supplementation “may prove beneficial”).
  • The test for heavy metals, describes “levels of intolerance” to various items as high, medium, or low, but acknowledges that the test is “unable to determine the amount of any substance present in the body.”
  • The environmental and food intolerance test reports classify items as Level 3, Level 2, or Level 1.

Healthy Stuff Online, Ltd., of Indialantic, Florida, offers MARS III radionic testing of hair samples against 400, 600, or 800 food and nonfood items. Its Web site states that the device “captures and diagnoses electromagnetic signals coming from the body. The cost, which depends on the number of items, ranges from $70.00 to 104.99. The site acknowledges—in small print—that “Conventional medicine does not currently recognise Bioresonance as it has not been subject to significant scientific research.”

Affordable Allergy Test , LLC of Laurenceville, Georgia, claims that its 5Strands Affordable Testing “utilizes . . .  bioresonance technology to identify temporary imbalances causing symptoms such as upset stomach, headaches, bloating, joint pain, water retention, paw biting, excessive hair loss, hot spots, itching.” A sample report, which the company sent to someone who inquired, provided the following results:

  • The Level 3 lists of food and environmental intolerances include 87 that are “very likely to cause noticeable symptoms,”
  • The Level 2 lists of food and environmental intolerances include 96 that “may result in reactions such as itchy skin, runny nose, watery eyes, etc.,”
  • The Level 1 lists of food and environmental intolerances include 116, which, “while there may be no noticeable symptoms, may potentially cause issues with ingestion or exposure over time.”

In a YouTube video, one of the company’s co-founders says that the testing provides “a road map to conduct an elimination plan” by avoiding all of the Level 3 and Level 2 items for and choosing from among the hundreds of other items on the master list for 6-8 weeks [9]. However, the idea that more than 300 food items should be suspect is absurd, and the idea that an elimination diet should begin with hundreds of possible foods is even more absurd. Elimination diets, if medically indicated, should begin with only a few foods, with suspected foods added every few days to see whether they cause trouble. People considering an elimination diet would be better served by keeping a careful dietary history and consulting a dietitian or other appropriately trained professional [10].

The video also advises that (a) eating a food every single day should be avoided because that can lead to “intolerance due to overconsumption,” and (b) many people become deficient in oxygen because they don’t eat enough “fruits and vegetables that contain oxygen.”

Although 5Strands’ reports are similar to those of Modern Allergy Management, I do not know whether they use the same testing device. When asked what device they used, a 5Strands representative replied: “We are unable to share the specifics regarding the machines that we utilize or any other specifics regarding our testing as it involves sensitive intellectual property.”

Better Business Bureau Reports

Between November 8, 2018 and December 31, 2019, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received 23 complaints about Modern Allergy Management. Most said that the test result took too long to arrive or did arrive at all. A few thought that the results could not possibly be correct—the most notable of these was from a mother who said that her six-year-old son’s test report recommended giving him a “male vigor sex-enhancement supplement.” [11] Based on the number of complaints, the BBB gave the company a “C” rating. Affordable Allergy Test, LLC and Healthy Stuff Online have no BBB ratings.

If you have undergone bioresonance hair testing and would like to share
your experience with me and/or discuss how to seek a refund, please
e-mail me a copy of your scan with a brief summary of what happened.

References
  1. From classic radionics to bioresonance. Bruce Copen Laboratories Web site, accessed April 21, 2020.
  2. MARS III. Bruce Copen Laboratories Web site, accessed April 21, 2020.
  3. Barrett S. Be wary of radionics devices. Quackwatch, Dec 27, 2011.
  4. Barrett S. Commercial hair analysis: A cardinal sign of quackery. Quackwatch, August 31, 2018.
  5. Detention without physical examination of fraudulent and deceptive medical devices. FDA import alert 80-06, Jan 7, 2020.
  6. Sussex Police report, Oct 18, 1990.
  7. Barrett S. Gregory Caplinger and his cancer scam. Quackwatch, Feb 7, 2019.
  8. MAM Exclusive Gold Standard 750 Intolerance Test. Modern Allergy Testing Web site, accessed April 21, 2020.
  9. Standard Package Test Report—5Strands—Food Environmental Nutrition—FAQ’s.  YouTube video, posted Oct 25, 2019.
  10. Gordon B. What is an elimination diet? Academy of Nutition anbd Dietetics Web site, Aug 13, 2019.
  11. BBB report on Modern Allergy Management LLC, accessed April 23, 2020.


Federal Judge Blocks Sale of Fake COVID-19 Treatment

A federal district judge has ordered Ray L. Nannis, D.C., to stop marketing a homeopathic “treatment” for COVID-19. The civil complaint (show below) states: Nannis, who operates Optimum Wellness Solutions, in Richardson, Texas, had advertised homeopathic sublingual products  as both a “C-19 vaccine” and a “treatment, reducing severity and duration of symptoms, should you test …

A federal district judge has ordered Ray L. Nannis, D.C., to stop marketing a homeopathic “treatment” for COVID-19. The civil complaint (show below) states:

    • Nannis, who operates Optimum Wellness Solutions, in Richardson, Texas, had advertised homeopathic sublingual products  as both a “C-19 vaccine” and a “treatment, reducing severity and duration of symptoms, should you test positive.”
    • During a call from a government agent, Nannis insisted that his products could provide protection from the novel coronavirus—“more so than any other vaccine out there right now”—and  would also minimize the symptoms of those who were infected.
    • Although cautioning that he could not “technically” describe the products as a “cure” for coronavirus due to FDA restrictions, Nannis said that it “basically” and “for all intents and purposes” was a cure.

Alleging that Nannis was facilitating a “predatory” ongoing wire fraud scheme to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic, the government sought injunctive relief under the Anti-Fraud Injunction statute.


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
DALLAS DIVISION


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff,

v.

DR. RAY L. NANNIS, P.C., dba OPTIMUM
WELLNESS SOLUTIONS, a Texas corporation;
and DR. RAY L. NANNIS, an individual,

Defendants.

Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-00940-B

 


COMPLAINT FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER,
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION

The United States of America brings this action against Defendants Dr. Ray L. Nannis, P.C. dba Optimum Wellness Solutions (Optimum) and Dr. Ray L. Nannis (Dr. Nannis) for injunctive relief pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1345 to prevent an ongoing fraud on the public.

INTRODUCTION

  1. Defendants are conducting a predatory wire fraud scheme exploiting the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Defendants maintain a purported treatment office in Richardson, Texas, where they provide, among other things, chiropractic, homeopathic, and other natural treatments.
  3. Defendants have made numerous false claims on the Internet and to prospective customers that they can provide a homeopathic product that will prevent, mitigate, or otherwisentreat COVID-19 and/or the novel Coronavirus.
  4. There are currently no known FDA approved vaccines or drugs to treat COVID-19 and/or the novel Coronavirus.
  5. The United States seeks to prevent continuing and substantial injury to victims ofthis fraudulent scheme by bringing this civil action under 18 U.S.C. § 1345 to enjoin Defendants’ ongoing facilitation of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

  1. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action under 18 U.S.C. § 1345 and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345.
  2. Venue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2) because a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred in this district.

THE PARTIES

  1. Plaintiff is the United States of America.
  2. Defendant Optimum is a professional corporation organized under the laws of the State of Texas and headquartered in Richardson, Texas.
  3. Defendant Dr. Nannis is an individual residing in Plano, Texas. Dr. Nannis serves as Optimum’s Director, President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Registered Agent. Dr. Nannis is a chiropractor licensed in Texas. Dr. Nannis is not a medical doctor, does not have a medical degree, and is not licensed as a physician in Texas or any other state.

FRAUDULENT SCHEME

  1. On March 30, 2020, Special Agent Gabriel Marchal of the United States Secret Service visited the account “OptimumWellnessSolutions” located on the public website Facebook. Agent Marchal located posts on Facebook promoting Defendants’ Richardson location and encouraging consumers to visit Defendants to use their services. As of the date of this filing, all of the posts referenced below appeared on Optimum’s Facebook account.
  2. Multiple posts that appear on Optimum’s Facebook account falsely state that a homeopathic product can prevent, mitigate, or otherwise treat COVID-19 and/or the novel Coronavirus. For example, in a March 19, 2020 written post, Defendants describe a “Corona-19 Homeopathic Vaccine remedy,” explaining that “Coronavirus-19 can be treated effectively with safe, non-toxic, sublingual Homeopathic and other natural remedies.” In the same post, Defendants wrote that these “Homeopathic COVID-19 remedies are now available, through Optimum Wellness Solutions and help build immunity against the virus. Please reserve your homeopathic . . . ASAP to pick up the remedies that will help protect yourself and your loved ones.” In a subsequent March 30, 2020 video post on Optimum’s Facebook account, Dr. Nannis explains that they now “have a homeopathy available,” suggesting that it could have a “90% protection” rate against COVID-19. In an April 1, 2020 video post on Optimum’s Facebook account, Dr. Nannis further touts the availability of the “homeopathy,” explaining that it can prevent COVID-19 or “if you do get sick, it’s going to make it very very very minimal.” In an April 16, 2020 video post on Optimum’s Facebook account, Dr. Nannis states that Optimum’s “homeoprophylactic” provides “the best protection” against contracting COVID-19.
  3. On March 30, 2020, Agent Marchal called Optimum at a number identified on the Optimum website and Facebook account. Agent Marchal inquired with someone in the Optimum office regarding the alleged homeopathy for COVID-19, and was told that Dr. Nannis would call Agent Marchal back to discuss the homeopathy. Dr. Nannis called Agent Marchal later on March 30, 2020. At that time, Agent Marchal spoke with Dr. Nannis regarding the purported “Coronavirus-19” homeopathic product described on Optimum’s Facebook account.
  4. During the call, Dr. Nannis stated that due to the FDA—seemingly alluding to the Federal Food & Drug Administration—he could not say that the homeopathy he sold through Optimum would “cure” the novel Coronavirus and/or COVID-19. Despite acknowledging the strictures placed on such representations by the FDA, Dr. Nannis nonetheless stated during his call with Agent Marchal that the homeopathy he was offering through Optimum should provide 90% protection against the novel Coronavirus. Dr. Nannis further claimed that, if someone became infected with the novel Coronavirus and/or COVID-19, the homeopathy he was offering would minimize any associated symptoms. Dr. Nannis offered to sell this homeopathy to Agent Marchal for $95 per dose. Dr. Nannis offered to ship the homeopathy directly if Agent Marchal provided his credit card information.
  5. The claims made by Defendants are false and fraudulent, as the participants in the scheme either know or consciously avoid knowing the fact that there is no known effective medical cure or treatment for COVID-19 and/or the novel Coronavirus.
  6. As of April 14, 2020, agents have observed consumers patronizing Defendants’ Richardson location, indicating that the scheme is ongoing.
  7. Victims suffer financial losses from the wire fraud scheme facilitated by Defendants, and victims further suffer harm via potential exposure to the novel Coronavirus and/or COVID-19 by unnecessarily visiting Defendants’ location to obtain a treatment that does not work.18. Absent injunctive relief by this Court, Defendants’ conduct will continue to cause injury to victims.

COUNT ONE
18 U.S.C. § 1345

  1. The United States re-alleges and incorporates each of the preceding paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.
  2. By reason of the conduct described herein, Defendants have violated, are violating, and are about to violate 18 U.S.C. § 1343 by facilitating a scheme and artifice to defraud and obtain money or property by means of false or fraudulent representations with the intent to defraud, and, in so doing, use interstate wire communications.
  3. Upon a showing that Defendants are committing or about to commit a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, the United States is entitled, under 18 U.S.C. § 1345, to seek a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and a permanent injunction restraining all future fraudulent conduct. The Court may also grant such other relief it deems just and proper to prevent a continuing and substantial injury to victims of the fraud scheme.
  4. As a result of the foregoing, the Court should enjoin Defendants’ conduct under 18 U.S.C. § 1345.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the United States requests judgment in its favor and against the Defendants, including the following relief:

  1. That the Court issue an order, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1345, pending a hearing and determination of the United States’ application for a preliminary injunction, that Defendants, and their agents, officers, and employees, and all other persons or entities in active concert or participation with it, must immediately cease offering to treat, cure, prevent, or otherwise mitigate the impact of the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, and remove, delete, and take down any representations by Defendants regarding the same.;
  2. That the Court issue a preliminary injunction, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1345, on the same basis and to the same effect;
  3. That the Court issue a permanent injunction, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1345, on the same basis and to the same effect; and
  4. All such further relief as may be just and proper.

Dated: April 16, 2020

Respectfully submitted,
ERIN NEALY COX
United States Attorney
By: _______________________
ANDREW S. ROBBINS
Assistant United States Attorney
New York Bar No. 4836508
KENNETH G. COFFIN
Assistant United States Attorney
Texas Bar No. 24076986
1100 Commerce Street, Third Floor
Dallas, Texas 75242-1699
Telephone: 214-659-8646
Facsimile: 214-659-8807
Andrew.Robbins@usdoj.gov
Kenneth.Coffin@usdoj.gov
Counsel for the United States


Kenneth Stoller, M.D. Facing Disciplinary Action

The Medical Board of California appears likely to discipline Kenneth Stoller M.D. for writing unjustified vaccination exemptions for ten children. The Accusation, shown below, states: He routinely performed genetic testing as a basis for determining whether a child should be exempted from required vaccinations, even though no genetic variations have been proven to accurately predict vaccine …

The Medical Board of California appears likely to discipline Kenneth Stoller M.D. for writing unjustified vaccination exemptions for ten children. The Accusation, shown below, states:

    • He routinely performed genetic testing as a basis for determining whether a child should be exempted from required vaccinations, even though no genetic variations have been proven to accurately predict vaccine responses.
    • He routinely obtained and relied upon unverified patient and family histories without obtaining medical records or do proper investigations.
    • Issued exemptions for all vaccines, even though there is no component that is common to all vaccines
    • His medical records were inadequate in that they contained only scant and vague patient and family histories, lacked vaccine-specific evaluations, contained diagnoses not supported by the findings or by medical science, and omitted reference to prior medical records and/or primary care physicians.

Stoller, who trained primarily as a pediatrician, is best known for his advocacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In 2019, the San Francisco City Attorney served a subpoena that sought Stoller’s medical records for all vaccine exemptions he had written since 2016 (the year that California enacted SB 277 to eliminate non-medical vaccine exemptions for school entry). Stoller filed a lawsuit to quash the subpoena. That suit is still pending.


XAVIER BECERRA
Attorney General of California
JANE ZACK SIMON
Supervising Deputy Attorney General
LAWRENCE MERCER
Deputy Attorney General
State Bar No. 111898
455 Golden Gate Avenue; Suite 11000
San Francisco, CA. 94102-7004
Telephone: (415) 510-3488
Facsimile: (415) 703-5480
Attorneys for Complainant

BEFORE THE
MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA

In the Matter of the Accusation Against:

Kenneth Paul Stoller, M.D.
2448 Guerneville Road, Suite 800
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate No. A 41183

Respondent


|
|
|
|
|
|
|

Case No. 800-2017-034218

ACCUSATION

PARTIES

1. Kimberly Kirchmeyer (Complainant) brings this Accusation solely in her official capacity as the Executive Director of the Medical Board of California, Department of Consumer Affairs (Board),

2. On or about September 10, 1984, the Medical Board issued Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate Number A 41183 to Kenneth Paul Stoller, M.D. (Respondent} The Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate was in full force and effect at all times relevant to the charges brought herein and will expire on December 31, 2019, unless renewed,

JURISDICTION

3. This Accusation is brought before the Board, under the authority of the following laws. Alt section references are to the Business and Professions Code (Code) unless otherwise indicated.

4. Section 2220 of the Code states:

Except as otherwise provided by law, the Board may take action against all persons guilty of violating this chapter. The Board shall enforce and administer this article as to physician and surgeon certificate holders, including those who hold certificates that do not permit them to practice medicine, such as, but not limited to, retired, inactive, or disabled status certificate holders, and the Board shall have all the powers granted in this chapter for these purposes including, but not limited to:

(a) Investigating complaints from the public, from other licensees, from health care facilities, or from the Board that a physician and surgeon may be guilty of unprofessional conduct. The Board shall investigate the circumstances underlying a report received pursuant to Section 805 or 805.01 within 30 days to determine if an interim suspension order or temporary restraining order should be issued. The Board shall otherwise provide timely disposition of the reports received pursuant to Section 805 and Section 805.01.

(b) Investigating the circumstances of practice of any physician and surgeon where there have been any judgments, settlements, or arbitration awards requiring the physician and surgeon or his or her professional liability insurer to pay an amount in damages in excess of a cumulative total of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) with respect to any claim that injury or damage was proximately caused by the physician’s and surgeon’s error, negligence, or omission.

(c) Investigating the nature and causes of injuries from cases which shall be reported of a high number of judgments, settlements, or arbitration awards against a physician and surgeon.

5. Section 2234 of the Code states, in pertinent part:

The Board shall take action against any licensee who. is charged with unprofessional conduct. In addition to other provisions of this article, unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, _assisting in or abetting the. violation of, or conspiring to violate any provision of this chapter.

(b) Gross negligence.

(c) Repeated negligent acts. To be repeated, there must be two or more negligent acts or omissions. An initial negligent act or omission followed by a separate and distinct departure from the applicable standard of care shall constitute repeated negligent acts.

(1) An initial negligent diagnosis followed by an act or omission medically appropriate for that negligent diagnosis of the patient shall constitute a single negligent act.

(2) When the. standard of care requires a change in the diagnosis, act, or omission that constitutes the negligent act described in paragraph (1), including, but not limited to, a reevaluation of the diagnosis or a change in treatment, and the licensee’s conduct departs from the applicable standard of care, each departure constitutes a separate and distinct breach of the standard of care.

(d) Incompetence.

6. Section 2266 of the Code states:

The failure of a physician and surgeon to maintain adequate and accurate records relating to the provision of services to their patients constitutes unprofessional conduct.

OTHER STATUTES

7. Health and Safety Code section 120325 provides:

In enacting this chapter, but excluding Section 120380, and in enacting Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide:

(a) A means for the eventual achievement of total immunization of appropriate age groups against the following childhood diseases:

    1. Diphtheria.
    2. Hepatitis B.
    3. Haemophilus influenza type b.
    4. Measles.
    5. Mumps.
    6. Pertussis (whooping cough).
    7. Poliomyelitis,
    8. Rubella.
    9. Tetanus.
    10. Varicella (chickenpox).
    11. Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the. United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

(b) That the persons required to be immunized be allowed to obtain immunizations from whatever medical source they so desire, subject only to the condition that the immunization be performed in accordance with the regulations of the department and that a record of the immunization is made in accordance with the regulations.

(c) Exemptions from immunization for medical reasons.

(d) For the keeping of adequate records of immunization so that health: departments, schools, and other institutions, parents or guardians, and-the persons immunized will be able to ascertain that a child is fully or only partially immunized, and so that appropriate public agencies will be able to ascertain the immunization needs of groups of children in schools or other institutions.

(e) Incentives to public health authorities to design innovative-and creative programs that will promote and achieve Juli and timely immunization of children.

8. At all relevant times, former Health and Safety Code section 120370 provided, in pertinent part:

(a) If the parent or guardian files with the governing authority a written statement by a, licensed physician to the effect that the physical condition of the child is such, or medical circumstances relating to the child are such, that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature arid probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances; including,. but not limited to, family medical history, for which the physician does not recommend immunization, that child shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 12Q325, but excluding Section 120380) and Sections i20400, 120405, 120410, and 120415 to the extent indicated by the physician’s statement.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

9. At all relevant times, Respondent Kenneth P. Stoller, M.D., was a physician and surgeon with a specialization in pediatrics at his office in San Francisco, California.

10. In 2015, the California Legislature amended Health and Safety Code section 120325 to eliminate personal beliefs as a basis for exemption from required immunizations for school-aged children. As a consequence, school-aged children not subject to any other exception were required to have immunizations for 10 vaccine-preventable childhood illnesses as a condition of public school attendance.

11. Beginning in 2016, Respondent began issuing medical exemptions to school-aged children.

12. Patient 1, a 4-month old male, was seen by Respondent on or about August 9, 2016. Patient 1 had a medical history significant for a congenital heart defect, and reports of vomiting, shortness of breath and difficulty gaining weight. Respondent’s records state a history of present illness (HPI) as the parents’ concern about an adverse event from immunization (AEFI). Respondent did not document an examination or record vital signs. His plan was to test for HLA DRBl/DQBl genes. Based on subsequent testing, Respondent concluded that the HLA-DRBl *13 allele was absent and that the child had an HLA DRBI 03 allele, which genetic polymorphisms Respondent concluded would likely make him a vaccine non-responder to the vaccines for measles and hepatitis B. Albeit he had not identified any vaccine contraindication or precaution, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or the American Academy of Pediatrics, Respondent issued a medical exemption for Patient 1 that was global, i.e. applying to all vaccines, and permanent in duration.

13. Patient 2, a 2.5-year-old female, was seen by Respondent on September 27, 2018. The examination documented for Patient 2 was within normal limits and her medical history was unremarkable for any contraindications or precautions for any vaccines. Nevertheless, Respondent issued a temporary medical exemption based upon the history of a sibling who reportedly had an AEFI after his 6-month immunizations and had thereafter developed a learning disability. Although the temporary exemption stated that the child would be undergoing an “Adverse Event Risk Assessment,” no further testing or evaluation was performed and/or documented.

14. Patient 3, the 4.5-year-old male sibling of Patient 2, was also seen by Respondent on September 27, 2018. The parents reported that they believed Patient 3 had developed dyspraxia/apraxia after receiving a set of six immunizations at age 6 months. They reported that the morning after he received the vaccines, Patient 3 was found lying in “a puddle of blood and vomitus.” Respondent described the reported event variously as “near SIDS,” “near exsanguitory” and an “acute encephalitic response” or AEFI. Respondent did not obtain the child’s pediatric records, nor did he investigate further. Respondent’s plan was to perform genetic testing, however, such testing is not documented and apparently was not done. Respondent issued a temporary exemption from all required vaccinations.

15. Patient 4, a 4-year old female, was seen by Respondent on December 14, 2015. At that time, the child’s mother reported that the child had not had any immunizations and that the mother was concerned that the child might have a genetic predisposition to adverse reactions to vaccinations, based upon a family history of autoimmune illnesses and relatives with neurodevelopmental issues and autism. Respondent did not obtain or review any past medical records. On or about April 29, 2016, Respondent issued a medical exemption letter for Patient 4. In that document, Respondent stated that Patient 4 “has genetic issues” and as a result, “she is at high risk of adverse events to vaccination so that vaccinations are not considered safe.” As with Patient 1, discussed above, the exemption is permanent and barred administration of any and all vaccines. In his “Adverse Event Risk Assessment Report,” Respondent stated that the basis for his conclusion that vaccines were unsafe for the child was that “the patient has the IRFl/MTHFR/IL-4 polymorphism.” In a subsequent interview, Respondent acknowledged that genetic polymorphisms are not recognized by the CDC as medical contraindications to vaccination.

16. Patient 5, a 6-year old female, was seen by Respondent on December 18, 2017. Prior to that visit, as was his custom and practice, Respondent conducted a telephone interview with the child’s father. In that interview, the HPI was stated as the parent’s concern that the child would be at risk of an adverse vaccine reaction based upon a sibling with “post vaccine auto-immune issues including but not limited to chronic joint pain and allergies to various foods, gluten and metals.” Respondent’s plan was to perform genetic testing, for which the parents were instructed to purchase “23 and Me” a direct-to-consumer ancestry and genetic testing product. Respondent then interpreted the raw data to conclude that the child had multiple polymorphisms on multiple genes which he stated were related to adverse risks from vaccinations. Respondent issued a permanent exemption from all vaccinations for the child, which stated that “vaccination is not considered safe due to [Patient 5’s] specific genetics.”

17. Patient 6, a 12-year old male child and sibling of Patient 5, underwent the same evaluation as his sister and received a permanent and global exemption from all vaccinations based upon genetic polymorphisms.

18. Patient 7, a 5-year old female, was seen by Respondent on January 3, 2018. Prior to that visit, in a telephone consultation, the child’s parents had attributed the child’s dyspraxia and speech delay to previous vaccinations and requested a genomic assessment. Respondent concluded that the child had polymorphisms on 8 of 12 genes associated with adverse event following immunization (AEFI), specifically IRFl and SCNlA and “a cousin with documented AEFI (VAERS).” No medical documentation relating to the cousin is contained in Respondent’s chart. The exemption is permanent and applies to all required vaccines.

19. Patient 8, a 12-year old female, was seen by Respondent on December 7, 2017. That was preceded by an August telephone consultation with the child’s parents. which Respondent summarized as a discussion of her prolonged encephalitic reaction and “stroke” related to a Hepatitis B vaccine. Patient 8 was given a permanent exemption from all vaccinations based upon her “unusual history” and on polymorphisms on HLA DRBl AND SCNlA genes.

20. Patient 9, a 12-year old female, was evaluated by Respondent on January 3, 2018. The visit was preceded by a September 13, 2017 telephone call from the child’s mother in which the mother stated that the child needed an exemption within ten days or “she can’t go to school.” In a telephone consultation that took place on the following day, Respondent made note that the child has “immediate family ‘members with multiple autoimmune diseases and who seems to have gone thru a multiple year period of having very compromised health post vaccination including but not limited to multiple URI/LRI, asthma, atopia and otitis infections.” A temporary exemption was issued as to all vaccines and, after testing, a permanent and global exemption was issued based on double mutation on the HLA DQBl and double mutation on the IRFl gene, which Respondent stated “play such a strong roll [sic] in having untoward immune reactions to foreign substances and biotoxins.”

21. Patient 10, a 5-year old female, was seen on March 8, 2018. During an earlier telephone consultation, Patient l0’s mother had requested that the child be screened for genetic risk from vaccines and she related a family history of “auto-immune issues” and an older sibling who developed “overt neuro-behavioral delays” after receiving vaccines. The mother complained that the school nurse “sees it as her job to protect the community from unvaccinated children.” The same at-home genetic test resulted in findings of multiple polymorphisms and Respondent opined that the child was at increased risk of an AEFI and ‘should be permanently exempted from all required vaccinations.

FIRST CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
(Gross Negligence/Repeated Negligent Acts/Incompetence)

22. Respondent Kenneth Paul Stoller, M.D. is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 2234 and/or 2234(b) and/or 2234(c) and/or 2234(d) in that Respondent engaged in unprofessional conduct and was grossly negligent and/or repeatedly negligent and/or incompetent in his care and treatment of the patients described in paragraphs 12 and 15 through 21 above, which are incorporated herein.

23. Respondent routinely performed genetic testing for the purpose of determining whether a child should be exempted from required vaccinations. Genetic testing in order to determine vaccine response or risk for adverse events following immunization is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The standard of care for a primary care provider and specialist is to follow national standards for pediatric vaccination practices and immunization recommendations from the CDC, issued through the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as summarized in The Red Book. Genetic variations in the population are normal and to be expected. While some differences exist, at the present time, no allele serves as a marker that accurately predicts vaccine response. A permanent exemption for all vaccines based on the polymorphisms described by Respondent is not supported by medical and scientific evidence and constitutes grounds for disciplinary action pursuant to the statutes set forth in paragraph 22.

SECOND CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
(Gross Negligence/Repeated Negligent Acts/Incompetence)

24. Respondent Kenneth Paul Stoller, M.D. is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 2234 and/or 2234(b) and/or 2234(c) and/or 2234(d) in that Respondent engaged in unprofessional conduct and was grossly negligent and/or repeatedly negligent and/or incompetent in his care and treatment of the patients described in paragraphs 12 through 21 above, which are incorporated herein.

25. Respondent routinely obtained and relied upon unverified patient and family histories, including but not limited to autoimmune disorders, asthma, gluten sensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s disease and other conditions not generally accepted to constitute precautions or contraindications to vaccines. The standard of care for a primary care provider and specialist is to follow national standards for pediatric vaccination practices and immunization recommendations from the CDC, issued through the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the American. Academy of Pediatrics, as summarized in The Red Book. The conditions described in Respondent’s records are not considered precautions or contraindications for routine immunizations by the CDC or AAP. The histories obtained by Respondent are typically scant and insufficiently documented as accepted diagnoses. To document an existing or family history of a condition or reaction without specification of the condition, the person who had the condition and their relation to the patient, and the specific vaccine or vaccine component that the condition or reaction related to, is not standard medical charting. In some cases, Respondent recorded a history of potentially very serious events, such as near SIDS, near exsanguination or acute encephalitis, but he did not obtain the pertinent medical records or otherwise investigate. Respondent’s provision of medical exemptions based on conditions not generally accepted as medical precautions or contraindications, his inadequate documentation of patient and family histories and failure to obtain records and/or investigate potentially very serious events fall below the standard of care and constitute grounds for discipline pursuant to the statutes set forth in paragraph 24 above.

THIRD CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
(Gross Negligence/Repeated Negligent Acts/Incompetence)

26. Respondent Kenneth Paul Stoller, M.D. is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 2234 and/or 2234(b) and/or 2234( c) and/or 2234( d) in that Respondent engaged in unprofessional conduct and was grossly negligent and/or repeatedly negligent and/or incompetent in his care and treatment of the patients described in paragraphs 12 through 21 above, which are incorporated herein.

27. Respondent routinely issued exemptions that applied to all vaccines. There is no component that is common to all vaccines. A severe reaction to an earlier dose of a specific vaccine may be a contraindication for another dose of that vaccine or to a dose of a related vaccine that also contains the same constituents, but not to all vaccines. Similarly, a moderate or severe acute illness might be a temporary precaution, resulting in deferral of immunization, but not a permanent, global contraindication to all vaccines. Respondent’s issuance of vaccine exemptions which are not specific to a particular vaccine and are permanent and global falls below the standard of care and constitutes grounds for discipline pursuant to the statutes set forth in paragraph 26 above.

FOURTH CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
(Inadequate Records)

28. Respondent Kenneth Paul Stoller, M.D. is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 2266 in that Respondent failed to maintain adequate and accurate records. As stated above, Respondent’s records contain only scant and vague patient and family histories, lack vaccine-specific evaluations, contain diagnoses not supported by the findings or by medical science and omit reference to prior medical records and/or primary care physicians.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, Complainant requests that a hearing be held on the matters herein alleged, and that following the hearing, the Medical Board of California issue a decision:

  1. Revoking or suspending Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate Number A 41183, issued to Respondent;
  2. Revoking, suspending or denying approval of RRespondent’s authority to supervise physician assistants and advanced practice nurses;
  3. Ordering Respondent, if placed on probation, to pay the Board. the costs of probation monitoring; and
  4. Taking such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper;

DATED: July 29 2019

_________________________
KIMBERLY KIRSHMEYER
Executive Director
Medical Board of California
Department of Consumer Affairs
State of California
Complainant



Ron Kennedy, M.D. Facing Disciplinary Action

The Medical Board of California appears likely to discipline Ron Kennedy, M.D. for writing unjustified vaccination exemptions for three children. In one case, as described in the Accusation below, he relied upon a family history of autoimmune, respiratory and what he termed “neuropsychiatric disorders.” In the other two cases, his exemptions were based upon a …

The Medical Board of California appears likely to discipline Ron Kennedy, M.D. for writing unjustified vaccination exemptions for three children. In one case, as described in the Accusation below, he relied upon a family history of autoimmune, respiratory and what he termed “neuropsychiatric disorders.” In the other two cases, his exemptions were based upon a family history of several illnesses occurring at variable times after a variety of vaccines. None of these is a medically valid reason for avoiding vaccination. 

As part of its investigation, the Medical Board subpoenaed Kennedy’s records for the children who were the subjects of the complaint. It also subpoenaed the records of all of the children in the Mendocino school district for whom Kennedy had written exemptions. Kennedy filed suits to block the subpoenas. In the first case, the Superior Court said he must comply, and the ruling was upheld by the California Court of Appeals. In the other case, the Superior Court refused to quash the subpoenas, but the appeal is still pending.

Kennedy operates the Anti-Aging Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa, California. He also operates a large Web site called The Doctors’ Medical Library, which contains hundreds of articles that promote offbeat methods and ideas. Its article on vaccinations, which has been online for at least 20 years, portrays vaccines as dangerous and ineffective.

Kenneth Stoller, M.D. and Tara Zandvliet, M.D. are facing similar charges.


XAVIER BECERRA
Attorney General of California
JANE ZACK SIMON
Supervising Deputy Attorney General
LAWRENCE MERCER
Deputy Attorney General
State Bar No. 111898.
455 Golden Gate Avenue; Suite 11000
San Francisco, CA. 94102-7004
Telephone: (415) 510-3488
Facsimile: (415) 703-5480
Attorneys for Complainant

BEFORE THE
MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA

In the Matter of the Accusation Against:

Ron Kennedy, M.D.
2448 Guerneville Road, Suite 800
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Respondent


|
|
|
|
|
|
|

Case No. 800-2017-030287

ACCUSATION

PARTIES

1. Christine J. Lally (Complainant) brings this Accusation solely in her official capacity as the Interim Executive Director of the Medical Board of California, Department of Consumer Affairs (Board),

2. On or about October 24, 1975, the Medical Board issued Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate Number C 36809 to Ron Kennedy, M.D. (Respondent} The Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate was in full force and effect at all times relevant to the charges brought herein and will expire on July 31, 2021, unless renewed,

JURISDICTION

3. This Accusation is brought before the Board, under the authority of the following laws. Alt section references are to the Business and Professions Code (Code) unless otherwise indicated.

4. Section 2227 of the Code provides that a licensee who. is found guilty under the Medical Practice Act may have his or her license revoked, suspended for a period not to exceed one year, placed on probation and required to pay the costs of probation monitoring, or such other action taken in relation to discipline as the Board deems proper.

5. Section 2234 of the Code states, in pertinent part:

The Board shall take action against any licensee who. is charged with unprofessional conduct. In addition to other provisions of this article, unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, assisting in or abetting the. violation of, or conspiring to violate any provision of this chapter.

(b) Gross negligence.

(c) Repeated negligent acts. To be repeated, there must be two or more negligent acts or omissions. An initial negligent act or omission followed by a separate and distinct departure from the applicable standard of care shall constitute repeated negligent acts.

(1) An initial negligent diagnosis followed by an act or omission medically appropriate for that negligent diagnosis of the patient shall constitute a single negligent act.

(2) When the. standard of care requires a change in the diagnosis, act, or omission that constitutes the negligent act described in paragraph (1), including, but not limited to, a reevaluation of the diagnosis or a change in treatment, and the licensee’s conduct departs from the applicable standard of care, each departure constitutes a separate and distinct breach of the standard of care.

(d) Incompetence.

6. Section 2266 of the. Code states:

The failure of a physician and surgeon to maintain adequate and accurate records relating to the provision of services to their patients constitutes unprofessional conduct.

OTHER STATUTES

7. Health and Safety Code section 120325 provides:

In enacting this chapter, but excluding Section 120380, and in enacting Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide:

(a) A means for the eventual achievement of total immunization of appropriate age groups against the following childhood diseases:

    1. Diphtheria.
    2. Hepatitis B.
    3. Haemophilus influenza type b.
    4. Measles.
    5. Mumps.
    6. Pertussis (whooping cough).
    7. Poliomyelitis,
    8. Rubella.
    9. Tetanus.
    10. Varicella (chickenpox).
    11. Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the. United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

(b) That the persons required to be immunized be allowed to obtain immunizations from whatever medical source they so desire, subject only to the condition that the immunization be performed in accordance with the regulations of the department and that a record of the immunization is made in accordance with the regulations.

(c) Exemptions from immunization for medical reasons.

(d) For the keeping of adequate records of immunization so that health: departments, schools, and other institutions, parents or guardians, and-the persons immunized will be able to ascertain that a child is fully or only partially immunized, and so that appropriate public agencies will be able to ascertain the immunization needs of groups of children in schools or other institutions.

(e) Incentives to public health authorities to design innovative-and creative programs that will promote and achieve Juli and timely immunization of children.

8. At all relevant times, former Health and Safety Code section 120370 provided, in pertinent part:

(a) If the parent or guardian files with the governing authority a written statement by a, licensed physician to the effect that the physical condition of the child is such, or medical circumstances relating to the child are such, that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature arid probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances; including, but not limited to, family medical history, for which the physician does not recommend immunization, that child shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325, but excluding Section 120380) and Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415 to the extent indicated by the physician’s statement.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

9. At all relevant times, Respondent Ron Kennedy, M:D., was a physician and surgeon providing medical care at his Anti-Aging Medical Clinic. in Santa.Rosa, California. Respondent is not a pediatrician and at all relevant times he was not the primary care physician for the three children discussed herein.

10. In 2015, the California Legislature amended Health and Safety Code section 120325 to eliminate personal beliefs as a basis for exemption from required immunizations for school-aged children. Consequently, school-aged children not subject to any other exception were required to have immunizations for 10 vaccine-preventable childhood illnesses as a condition of public school attendance. After the statutory amendment became effective, the Medical Board began receiving complaints from schools, primary care providers and parents that physicians were issuing medical exemptions from required vaccinations that did not appear to have a bona fide medical basis.

11. Beginning in 2016, Respondent began issuing medical exemptions from required vaccinations to school-aged children. In 2017, the Immunization Coordinator at the Sonoma County Department of Public Health Services reported receipt of multiple complaints from schools and preschools expressing concerns about permanent medical exemptions issued by Respondent.

12. On August 17, 2017, the Board received a complaint from a school nurse that Patient 11 presented a Vaccine exemption from Respondent that did not appear to be valid, The complaint stated that Patient 1 was a female Student entering the 7th Grade, who previously had a personal belief exemption and, after the personal belief exemption was eliminated, presented a permanent medical exemption from all required vaccinations issued by Respondent. The complaint stated that the child’s school records did not contain any medical information that would support a vaccine exemption.

1Patient names are redacted to protect privacy interests.

13. On June 24, 2019, pursuant to a court order, the Board obtained Respondent’s records for Patient 1. Respondent’s records stated that Patient 1 “has always enjoyed good health.” He also documented that the child had previously been exempted from vaccines .based on personal beliefs. and that her parents, who opposed vaccinations, were consulting Respondent for the purpose of obtaining a medical exemption. Patient 1’s personal history was negative for any condition that would contraindicate any vaccine: Respondent’s review of systems was normal. Respondent’s physical examination was within normal limits, with only mild myopia noted.

14. On the date of his evaluation, July 17, 2017, Respondent gave Patient 1 a “Medical Vaccine Exemption” that was permanent and applied to all vaccines, The basis for the vaccine exemption, as documented on the form and in Respondent’s records, was a, family history of obsessive compulsive disorder in mother, ADD in father, ADHD in brother, and depression and anorexia nervosa in sister; as well as a variety of other disorders in extended family. The exemption form, which was otherwise boilerplate, contained Respondent’s handwritten annotation that the reason for the exemption was “autoimmune, respiratory, neuropsych illness in family.”

15. On or about November 29, 2017, the Medical Board received a complaint from the father of Patients 2 and Patient 3; male children aged 3 years and 1 year of age. The children’s parent complained that Respondent had provided the children with vaccine exemptions without his consent and without a bona fide medical reason. Pursuant to a court order, the Board obtained the. children’s pediatric records from their primary care. provider at Kaiser Permanente. The pediatric records were significant for no documented allergies or medical problems that might be a precaution or contraindication to a specific vaccine. the children’s father reported that prior to Respondent’s issuance of vaccine exemptions the children had received some immunizations and did not have any adverse reactions.

16. On June 24,2019, pursuant to court order, the Board obtained Respondent’s records for Patients 2 and 3. Respondent’s records for Patient 2 contain a history from the mother that Patient 2 was “sick” after previous vaccinations; however, the mother also apparently provided Patient 2’s immunization record that indicated that the child had received vaccinations and had no significant medical problems. Respondent reported the physical examination of the child as normal. Nonetheless, he issued a vaccine exemption on September 26, 2017. According to his medical records, the exemption issued based upon a maternal family history of a variety of events occurring after immunizations to her and to various relatives. The reasons stated for the exemption are indicated by checked boxes on the form for “neuropsychiatric illness, allergic illness, vaccine reaction or-injury.” The exemption is permanent and global, applying to all vaccines. Respondent’s records for Patient 3 are similar in content and refer to Patient 3 as a “normal one year old child.” Respondent also issued a permanent exemption from all vaccines. or Patient 3.

17. On January 8, 2018, after the children’s father demanded that he do so, Respondent rescinded his vaccine exemptions for Patients 2 and 3.

18. The Board obtained medical records for Patients 2 and 3 relating to their subsequent pediatric care: Both children ultimately received their scheduled vaccinations without event.

FIRST CAUSE FOR DISCiPLINE
(Gross Negligence/Repeated Negligent Acts/Incompetence)

(Inappropriate Rationale-for Medical Exemption)

19. Respondent Ron Kennedy, MD. is subject to disciplinary action under sections 2234 and/or 2234(6) and/or 2234(c) and/or 2234(d) in that Respondent engaged in unprofessional Conduct, was grossly negligent and/or committed repeated acts of negligence and/or was incompetent in his care and treatment of Patients 1, 2 and 3. The circumstances are as follows:

20. Respondent based his vaccine exemptions on factors not considered contraindications or precautions by the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the American Academy of Pediatrics. In the case of Patient 1, Respondent relied upon a family history of autoimmune, respiratory and what respondent termed neuropsychiatric disorders. In the case of Patients 2 and 3, Respondent based his exemptions upon a family history of ‘several illnesses occurring at variable times after a variety of vaccines, albeit such the history does not indicate that vaccines caused the illnesses. The standard of care for a. primary care provider; consultant and specialist-is to follow national standards for pediatric vaccination practices and immunization recommendations from the CDC, issued through the Advisory Committee on. Immunization Practices, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as summarized in The Red Book. Neither a family history of disorders, such as that documented by Respondent for Patient I, nor a family history of various illnesses at various times after a variety of vaccines, such as that documented by Respondent for Patients 2 and 3, constitute contraindications or precautions recognized by the CDC or AAP; hence Respondent’s exemptions fall below the standard of care,

SECOND CAUSE FOR DiSCIPLINE
(Gross Negligence/Repeated Negligent Acts/Incompetence)
(Global Vaccine Exemptions)

21. Respondent Ron Kennedy, M:D. is subject to disciplinary action under sections 2234 and/or 2234(b) and/or 2234(c) and/or 2234(d) in that Respondent engaged in unprofessional conduct, was grossly negligent and/or committed repeated acts of negligence and/or was incompetent in his care and treatment of Patients 1, 2 and 3. The circumstances are as follows:

22. Respondent issued exemptions to all vaccines. There is no ingredient common to all vaccines. There are some specific contraindications apply to individual vaccines: and some precautions, such as an acute illness, might require temporary deferral of immunization until the. illness has resolved. Patients 1, 2 and 3, as documented in Respondent’s records, did not have any contraindication or precaution, as defined by the CDC and AAP that would exempt them from any recommended vaccine. Providing an exemption to all vaccines falls below the standard of care.

THIRD CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE
(Gross Negligence/Repeated Negligent Acts/Incompetence)

(Permanent Vaccine Exemptions)

23. Respondent Ron Kennedy, M.D. is subject to disciplinary action under sections 2234 and/or 2234(b) and/or 2234(c) and/or 2234(d) in that Respondent engaged in unprofessional conduct, was grossly negligent and/or committed repeated acts of negligence and/or was incompetent in his care and treatment of Patients 1, 2 and 3. The circumstances are as follows:

24. Respondent issued exemptions that were permanent in duration. Permanent exemptions to specific vaccines are appropriate when contraindications are present and not expected to be temporary, for example a severe allergic reaction, e.g. anaphylaxis, after a previous dose or to a vaccine component, or severe immunosuppression and live-vaccines. As stated above, a temporary condition, such as an acute illness, might be a precaution until the illness resolved. Patients. I, 2 and 3, as documented in Respondent’s records, did not have any events or conditions recognized by the CDC or AAP as n.medical basis for a permanent exemption from immunizations. Providing a permanent exemption falls below the standard of care.

FOURTH CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE
(Inadequate and Inaccurate Records)

25. Respondent Ron Kennedy, M.D. is subject to disciplinary action under section 2266 in that he failed to maintain adequate and accurate records, As. set forth above, Respondent’s records fail to document a: medical indication for the vaccine exemptions that he issued, Histories inadequately documented and objective findings do not support the plan for vaccine exemptions. Respondent failed to obtain prior medical records from the children’s treating pediatricians. His exemptions are boilerplate, list multiple conditions without specification and exempt the children even from vaccines no longer routinely used.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, Complainant requests that a hearing be held on the matters herein alleged, and that following the hearing, the Medical Board of California issue a decision:

  1. Revoking or suspending Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate Number C 36809, issued to Ron Kennedy, M.D.;
  2. Revoking, suspending or denying approval of Ron Kennedy, M.D.’s authority to supervise physician assistants and advanced practice nurses;
  3. Ordering Ron Kennedy, M.D., if placed on probation, to pay the Board. the costs of probation monitoring; and
  4. Taking such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper;

DATED: JAN 29 2020

_________________________
CHRISTINE J. LALLY
Interim Executive Director
Medical Board of California
Department of Consumer Affairs
State of California
Complainant



Dieter’s Brews Make Tea Time a Dangerous Affair

A cup of hot herbal tea may feel soothing to the soul, but instead of soothing the body, some herbal teas can make you sick. This is especially true with so-called dieter’s teas—herbal teas containing senna, aloe, buckthorn, and other plant-derived laxatives that, when consumed in excessive amounts, can cause diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, …

A cup of hot herbal tea may feel soothing to the soul, but instead of soothing the body, some herbal teas can make you sick.

This is especially true with so-called dieter’s teas—herbal teas containing senna, aloe, buckthorn, and other plant-derived laxatives that, when consumed in excessive amounts, can cause diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, chronic constipation, fainting, and perhaps death.

In recent years, FDA has received “adverse event” reports, including the deaths of four young women, in which dieter’s teas may have been a contributing factor.

As a result, FDA is advising consumers to follow package directions carefully when using dieter’s teas and other dietary supplements containing senna, aloe, and other stimulant laxatives. Consumers should seek medical attention for persistent diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and other bowel problems to prevent more serious complications.

The agency may consider requiring manufacturers to place a warning about the products’ potential side effects on the products’ labels. Some manufacturers already are doing so voluntarily.

These products—bought in health food stores and through mail-order catalogs, for example—often are used for weight loss based on some consumers’ belief that increased bowel movements will prevent absorption of calories, thus preventing weight gain. However, a special committee of FDA’s Food Advisory Committee concluded in 1995 that studies show that laxative-induced diarrhea does not significantly reduce absorption of calories. This is because the laxatives do not work on the small intestine, where calories are absorbed, but rather on the colon, the lower end of the bowel.

Juice drinks and tablets also may contain stimulant laxatives. FDA usually regulates these products as foods under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. If the products are represented as dietary supplements, they are regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.

Stimulant Laxatives

The stimulant laxative teas and dietary supplements FDA is most concerned about contain one or more of the substances senna, aloe, rhubarb root, buckthorn, cascara, and castor oil. These plant-derived products have been used since ancient times for their ability to promote bowel movements and relieve constipation. Several, such as cascara, senna and castor oil, also are available as over-the-counter drug laxatives and are regulated as drugs.

Some of these substances also are used in much smaller quantities as natural flavorings in other foods. As such, they are regulated by FDA as food additives or “generally recognized as safe” substances. FDA has not received any information suggesting that these substances pose a hazard when used in the amounts normally needed to provide flavoring.

Except when used solely as flavorings, the names of these plant substances appear in the ingredient list on the label of these products. Dieter’s teas and similar products often list the substances at or near the top because they often are the main ingredients. FDA proposed in December 1995 to require manufacturers to declare dietary ingredients, including proprietary blends, in descending order of predominance by weight on product labels. In the proposed rule, the substance would have to be given by its common or usual name: for example, Tinnevelly senna followed by its Latin name, Cassia angustifolia.

The names of many dieter’s teas suggest the products can promote weight loss, although the labeling does not specifically state how. The labeling also may fail to mention that these herbal products contain laxatives, which, when misused, can have serious effects.

Most consumers who use dieter’s teas and similar products know that the products have laxative properties, according to health professionals familiar with the products, even though the product labeling does not specifically state the term “laxative.” Instead, the labeling may promote the product as a natural bowel cleanser. Sometimes it may not reflect the laxative qualities at all.

The product labels may not directly state that the products are for weight loss, although some allude to it. For instance, some products use the terms “dieter’s,” “diet,” “trim,” or “slim” in their names. Others may carry information on weight-loss practices, mentioning consumption of the product along with the weight-loss practices. Some of the teas are labeled as “low-calorie.” Unless sweetened, they provide essentially no nutrients and no calories.

According to Ara DerMarderosian, Ph.D., professor of pharmacognosy (study of medicinal products in their crude, or unprepared, form) and medicinal chemistry at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, users favor the products because they believe that the products may cost less and taste better than over-the-counter laxatives and because they are easy to buy. In addition, he said, people with eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa, may like the products because they act quickly and produce loose, watery stools. Unfortunately, this practice is not only useless for losing weight but can be dangerous for people on severely restricted diets.

Writing in the January 1996 American Druggist, DerMarderosian and his colleague Sharon Brudnicki, a registered pharmacist also with the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, noted that some users like dieter’s tea and other stimulant laxatives for their purported “body cleansing” ability.

DerMarderosian was a member of the FDA Food Advisory Committee’s 1995 special task group on stimulant laxative substances in food.

Adverse Effects

Reports filed with FDA indicate that users tend to experience adverse effects when they misuse the products by, for example, steeping the tea longer than product labeling recommends or drinking more than the recommended amount. The reports indicate three types of adverse events:

  • Short-term: stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea lasting several days. These symptoms are likely to occur in first-time users who drink more than the recommended amount.
  • Chronic: chronic diarrhea, pain and constipation due to laxative dependency, which causes a sluggish bowel. In one report to FDA, a person who reported using herbal products with stimulant laxatives for decades suffered severe pain and constipation from loss of colon function and required surgery to remove the colon. People who develop chronic problems usually have used these types of products for years.
  • Severe: fainting, dehydration and electrolyte disorders (for example, low blood potassium, a condition that can cause paralysis, irregular heartbeat, and possibly death). People who develop severe problems tend to be those who are nutritionally compromised, partly as a result of drastic reductions in food intake-for example, rigorous weight-loss dieters and people with the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Four deaths reported to FDA involved women with a history of such medical problems. According to information presented at a 1995 meeting of FDA’s Food Advisory Committee, these herbal stimulant laxatives may have been a contributing factor in their deaths.
Label Warning

At the 1995 meeting, the advisory committee’s task group agreed that dietary supplements containing stimulant laxatives can have adverse effects and that a label statement would be helpful in warning consumers about the risks and reducing the incidence of these adverse effects. The group proposed this label warning:

“NOTICE (or WARNING): Contains herbs (insert name of herbs) that can act as stimulant laxatives. Prolonged steeping time can increase the risk of adverse laxative effects, including: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Chronic use of laxatives can impair colon function. Use of laxatives may be hazardous in the presence of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or rectal bleeding. Laxative-induced diarrhea does not significantly reduce absorption of food calories. Acute or chronic diarrhea may result in serious injury or death.”

The full advisory committee concurred with the recommendations.

California has taken steps to require a similar warning label statement on all food products containing stimulant laxatives sold in that state. Some manufacturers have begun to carry the state’s drafted warning statement on their food products. FDA will monitor products sold nationally to be sure that their labels carry information similar to that required in California.

Consumer Action

The California warning advises all users of these types of dietary supplements to:

  • Read and follow package directions carefully.
  • Stop using the product if diarrhea, loose stools, or stomach pain develop.
  • See a doctor if frequent diarrhea develops.
  • See a doctor before using the product if the user is pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or has a medical condition.

Consumers should report adverse effects associated with use of laxative teas or supplements to FDA by calling or writing to their local FDA office, listed in the blue pages of the telephone book under U.S. Government, Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration. They also may write to FDA at 5600 Fishers Lane, HFC-160, Rockville, MD 20857.

The report should include:

  • name, address and telephone number of the person who became ill
  • name and address of the doctor or hospital providing medical treatment
  • description of the problem
  • name of the product and store where it was bought.

Consumers also should report the problem to the manufacturer or distributor listed on the product’s label and to the store where the product was bought.

FDA encourages health professionals to report serious adverse reactions, too, if the reaction appears related to the patient’s use of dieter’s teas or similar products. Health professionals can call FDA’s MedWatch adverse event and product problem hot line at (1-800) FDA-1088.


Paula Kurzweil was a member of FDA’s public affairs staff. This article was originally published in the July-August 1997 issue of FDA Consumer magazine.



Index to Quackery-Related GAO Reports

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)  monitors and audits government spending and operations, tracks how the legislative and executive branches of the government use taxpayer dollars, and provides its findings directly to Congress. It was established as the General Accounting Office by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 and assumed its current name in …

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)  monitors and audits government spending and operations, tracks how the legislative and executive branches of the government use taxpayer dollars, and provides its findings directly to Congress. It was established as the General Accounting Office by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 and assumed its current name in 2004. The reports listed below are relevant to topics discussed on our Web sites.

Dietary Supplements and Herbs
Diagnostic Testing
Diploma Mills
Drug Products
Health Insurance
Research
Miscellaneous Health Problems


Will Continued Adjustments Help Me or Wear Down My Spine?

Question I’ve been going to chiropractors for 14 years. Once-a-month treatment has turned into weekly manual and or activator type adjustments. I’ve been told that I have degeneration with retrolisthesis of 4, 5, and 6 cervical vertebrae, mid back and pelvic misalignment issues due to scoliosis, muscular tension, improper posture, and repetitive motions at work. …

Question

I’ve been going to chiropractors for 14 years. Once-a-month treatment has turned into weekly manual and or activator type adjustments. I’ve been told that I have degeneration with retrolisthesis of 4, 5, and 6 cervical vertebrae, mid back and pelvic misalignment issues due to scoliosis, muscular tension, improper posture, and repetitive motions at work.

There are times I feel I’m in a vicious cycle and this will always be part of my life and it is wearisome. There are times I want to just stop all these adjustments and just let my body do what it wants to and just live with the results. We all have to have something, right?

I like your reality based thinking, from what little I’ve read about you. Can the spine ever change its course with manipulation or not? In my 14 years, I believe there is improvement when I don’t do the things that aggravate it. Will continued adjustments wear down the spine, making it weaker over time and worse? The adjustments don’t hold. It doesn’t take much movement on my part and I hear a pop in my neck or back. That has happened after so many adjustments.

Answer

It’s okay to get an occasional hands-on spinal manipulation if such treatment relieves back-related musculoskeletal symptoms. But repeated or regular spinal manipulation will not change the alignment of the vertebrae and it will not prevent degenerative changes or prevent the development of health problems. If symptoms worsen after a few treatments, or if symptoms persist after a few weeks of treatment, the treatment should be discontinued.

When you are told that “the adjustment did not hold,” that is an excuse offered when the treatment was not effective or has aggravated symptoms, perpetuating unnecessary or possibly harmful treatment. Use of an Activator instrument is not a helpful treatment and is not an adequate substitute for appropriate use of manipulation. I would advise against manipulation of the vertebrae in your neck, since the risk of stroke caused by injury to vertebral arteries outweighs any known benefit.

My advice would be to discontinue use of manipulation and see how you get along. In some cases, symptoms that have been aggravated by ongoing, unnecessary spinal manipulation will subside. As we age, all of us will develop degenerative changes that might benefit from occasional manual therapy or a self-help program. But regular spinal manipulation will not correct or prevent the degenerative changes of wear and tear or aging. You should not continue with the services of any chiropractor who suggests that you need ongoing spinal manipulation to prevent or correct vertebral “subluxations.”

____________________

Dr. Homola is a second-generation chiropractor who has dedicated himself to defining the proper limits on chiropractic and to educating consumers and professionals about the field. His 1963 book Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism supported the appropriate use of spinal manipulation but renounced chiropractic dogma. His 1999 book Inside Chiropractic: A Patient’s Guide provides an incisive look at chiropractic’s history, benefits, and shortcomings. Now retired after 43 years of practice, he lives in Panama City, Florida.

This article was posted on November 17, 2017.



Pamphlets from Palmer College of Chiropractic (1970s)

During the 1970s, Palmer College of Chiropractic, which was the largest chiropractic school at that time, published about fifty 6-page pamphlets that chiropractors could distribute in their offices. Most claimed that the health problem described in the pamphlet would resolve after the chiropractor located and adjusted the supposedly relevant spinal misalignment, which the pamphlets referred …

During the 1970s, Palmer College of Chiropractic, which was the largest chiropractic school at that time, published about fifty 6-page pamphlets that chiropractors could distribute in their offices. Most claimed that the health problem described in the pamphlet would resolve after the chiropractor located and adjusted the supposedly relevant spinal misalignment, which the pamphlets referred to as “subluxations.” The back page of the pamphlets said: “Rather than administering drugs, your chiropractor determines if neurological complications are at the root of the problem; then he works to eliminate this basic cause, thus restoring and maintaining health. . . . It is to your great advantage to visit your doctor of chiropractic on a regular basis.” This was poor advice because chiropractors did not have sufficient training to diagnose or treat most of the conditions the pamphlets described. To access the pamphlets I collected, click here.



Ross Stewart Ordered to Stop Unlicensed Medical Practice

In 2017, the Texas Medical Board ordered Ross Stewart. Ph.D., to stop practicing medicine without a medical license and said that future violations could trigger a penalty of up $5,000 per violation and/or each day of a continuing violation. The agreed order (shown below) stated that he was treating customers with an undetermined substance that …

In 2017, the Texas Medical Board ordered Ross Stewart. Ph.D., to stop practicing medicine without a medical license and said that future violations could trigger a penalty of up $5,000 per violation and/or each day of a continuing violation. The agreed order (shown below) stated that he was treating customers with an undetermined substance that purportedly contained stem cells grown from the customer’s blood but was actually a saline solution with vitamins. The order also said that he “sought to circumvent the law by having customers join the ‘Turtle Healing Band’ allegedly an Oklahoma Native American Tribe, and signing unenforceable waivers purporting to release him from liability.” The Turtle Healing Band, which I have investigated, is part of a network of entities that issues credentials intended to help practitioners avoid government regulation.

Stewart is licensed as a Professional Counselor. At the time the Texas Medical Board became concerned, he owned and operated the Brain & Body Wellness Center) in Dallas, Texas, which reportedly was closed in response to the board’s action. He subsequently represented himself, at Parkinson’s Clinic International LLC, as an “applied clinical nutritionist” who provided treatment based on the theories and methods of Marty Hinz, M.D. Most of Stewart’s current services were being provided through interviews using Skype or FaceTime, after which he recommended dietary supplements that he sells.

In 2019. the North Central Texas Better Business Bureau concluded that changes made to www.parkinsonsclinicinternational.com since the medical board’s action were “insufficient to alert reasonable consumers that Parkinson’s Clinic International is not a medical clinic and that Dr. Stewart is not authorized to treat Parkinson’s disease in the state of Texas.” The BBB also noted that “the address of the ‘Clinic’ is not a medical facility, but is a residential dwelling located in Dallas, Texas.”

While the BBB was investigating, I asked the Texas Medical Board to determine whether Stewart was still practicing medicine without a license. In April 2020, I found that he was again doing business as the Brain & Body Wellness Center, but the company’s Web site no longer displayed medical claims. I don’t yet know whether my complaint has been settled.


IN THE MATTER OF

ROSS M. STEWART

|
|
|
BEFORE THE

TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD

AGREED CEASE AND DESIST ORDER

On the 3 day March , 2017, this matter was heard before the Texas Medical Board (the Board). Ross Stewart (Respondent), through his counsel Amy Wellborn, waived any right to a hearing and instead agrees to the entry of this Order. Upon the recommendation of the Board’s staff and with the consent of Respondent, the Board makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

FINDINGS OF FACT

The Board finds that:

  1. Respondent received all notice required by law and all jurisdictional requirements have been satisfied.
  2. Respondent is not licensed to practice medicine in the State of Texas.
  3. Respondent engaged in the unlicensed practice of medicine by treating customers ,with an unknown substance purportedly containing stem cells grown from their blood.
  4. The unknown substance did not contain stem cells grown from the customer’s blood; instead, the solution was a saline solution with vitamins.
  5. Respondent engaged in the unlicensed practice of medicine by claiming that this unknown substance could cure medical conditions ranging from Parkinson’s Disease to a broken heart.
  6. Respondent billed customers for injections of the unknown substance while failing to maintain billing and medical records.
  7. Respondent had a personal and professional relationship with Felon Joe DiRuzzo who is serving a four-year sentence for similarly injecting customers with unknown substances purportedly containing stem cells grown from their blood samples. At least one of these customers died as a result.
  8. Respondent sought to circumvent the law by having customers join the “Turtle Healing band”, allegedly an Oklahoma Native American Tribe, and signing unenforceable waivers purporting to release him of liability.
  9. Respondent has cooperated in the investigation of the allegations related to this Order. To avoid further investigation, hearings, and the expense and inconvenience of litigation, Respondent agrees to the entry of this Order and to comply with its terms and conditions.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

  1. The Board has jurisdiction over the subject matter and Respondent pursuant to the TEX. OCC. CODE, Title 3, Subtitle B, the Medical Practice Act (Act).
  2. Texas Occ. Code § 165.052(a) authorizes the issuance of cease and desist orders to individuals who are unlicensed by the Board if it appears that the individual is violating the Act, Board rules, or any other statute or rule relating to the practice of medicine.
  3. Section 151.002(a)(12) of the Act defines a physician as a person licensed to practice medicine in this state.
  4. Section 165.052(b) of the Act provides that a violation of an Order under Section § 65.052(a) constitutes grounds for imposing an administrative penalty under TEX. OCC. CODE, Title 3, Subtitle B, Chapter 165, Subchapter A, which allows for an administrative penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation to be assessed, and each day of a violation continues constitutes a separate violation.
  5. Section 165.151 of the Act provides that a person commits an offense if the person violates the Act, or any rule of the Texas Medical Board.
  6. Section 165.159 of the Act provides that a person commits an offense if the person practices medicine without complying with the registration requirement imposed by Texas Occupations Code Ann., Title 3, Subtitle B.
  7. Sections 165.101 and 165.103 of the Act provide that any violation of this Order constitutes grounds for imposing a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation, and for recovery of the reasonable expenses of litigation, by action of the Attorney General, and each day a violation continues constitutes a separate violation.
  8. Board Rule 187.84 authorizes the Board to impose an administrative penalty for violation of a cease and desist order, or refer the matter to the Attorney General to institute action for: an injunction against violation of the order; any administrative penalty assessed by the Board; a civil penalty in accord with Section 165.101 of the Act; expenses in accord with Section 165.103 of the Act; and any other remedy provided by law.

ORDER

Based on the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the Board ORDERS that:

  1. Respondent is prohibited from practicing medicine in the State of Texas without a license issued by the Texas Medical Board.
  2. Respondent shall cease and desist any unlicensed practice of medicine in the State of Texas from and after the date of Respondent’s signature below.
  3. Respondent shall immediately cease and desist from advertising, offering to treat, treating, or assisting another in treating anyone in the State of Texas with stem cells.
  4. Any violation of this Order constitutes grounds for imposing an administrative penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation, and/or each day of a continuing violation, of the Medical Practice Act.

RESPONDENT WAIVES THE RIGHT TO A HEARING PURSUANT TO THE MEDICAL PRACTICE ACT SECTIONS 165.052 AND 164.002(a) AND 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE, CHAPTER 187, AS APPLICABLE, AND ALL RIGHTS PURSUANT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT, TEX. GOV’T CODE, CHAPTER 2001, JNCLUDING THE RIGHT TO NOTICE AND HEARING, AND TO ANY FURTHER HEARINGS OR APPEALS TO THE BOARD OR TO ANY COURT IN REGARD TO THIS ORDER. RESPONDENT AGREES TO THE ENTRY OF THIS ORDER AND AGREES THAT THIS IS A FINAL ORDER.

I, ROSS M. STEWART, HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS ORDER. MY SIGNATURE BELOW IS VOLUNTARY. THIS ORDER CONTAINS THE ENTIRE AGREEMENT AND TIHERE IS NO OTHER AGREEMENT OF ANY KIND, VERBAL, WRITTEN, OR OTHERW1SE. I HAVE SIGNED THIS ORDER ON THE 10TH DA Y OF FEBRUARY , 2017.

_______________________
Ross M. Stewart, Ph.D, P.C.
Respondent

SIGNED AND ENTERED by the presiding officer of the Texas Medical Board on this 3 day of March, 2017.

_________________
Sherif Z. Zaafran, President
Texas Medical Board

This article was revised on April 8, 2020.



Disciplinary Actions against Dr. Maher Hanna

In 1999 and 2000, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) found Dr. Maher Hanna guilty of unprofessional conduct. The CPSS Web site provides the following details: In 1999 Dr. Hanna entered guilty pleas to four charges of unprofessional conduct. He admitted that he: Was untruthful to the College when he responded to …

In 1999 and 2000, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS) found Dr. Maher Hanna guilty of unprofessional conduct. The CPSS Web site provides the following details:


In 1999 Dr. Hanna entered guilty pleas to four charges of unprofessional conduct. He admitted that he:

  • Was untruthful to the College when he responded to a concern that the CV of a physician who he had employed to work in his clinic had been falsified;
  • Failed to maintain the standards of the profession in relation to medical records for 10 patients;
  • Failed to follow the College’s bylaws with respect to his chelation practice;
  • Was untruthful in advising the College that he was fully compliant with the College’s chelation bylaw.

Dr. Hanna’s license had previously been revoked in relation to another matter. He was suspended for a six-month period that overlapped the period of his license revocation. He was ordered to pay costs of $16,272.


In 1999, Dr. Hanna entered guilty pleas to four charges of unprofessional conduct. He admitted that he:

  • Provided false information to a preliminary inquiry committee that he did not perform chelation therapy after February 17, 1998;
  • Provided false information to a preliminary inquiry committee that he had recorded symptomatology leading to the diagnosis of ADHD in patients charts;
  • Prescribed Ritalin in a manner that did not meet the standards of the profession;
  • Submitted accounts to Medical Care Insurance Branch for spirometry services when he had not provided the necessary services to be entitled to bill for such services.
  • Dr. Hanna was suspended for a further 5 months and required to pay the costs of the investigation and hearing in the amount of $12,361.

In 2000, Dr. Hanna entered a guilty plea to charges of unprofessional conduct that he:

  • Breached an undertaking to post a sign notifying patients that he required a chaperone for examinations of female patients;
  • Breached an undertaking that female patients would sign a document confirming that a chaperone was present for interactions with him;
  • Billed for medical services which he did not provide.

The penalty imposed was:

  • a suspension for six months;
  • a fine of $10,000;
  • a prohibition on practicing medicine unless there was another physician present in the clinic when Dr. Hanna was seeing patients in the clinic;
  • a prohibition against treating female patients unless a chaperone approved by the College was present;
  • an order that a physician approved by the College verify, on a monthly basis, that Dr. Hanna had complied with the terms of his undertaking and restrictions;
  • an order to repay Medical Services Plan for improper billings.

The CPSS Web site indicates that Dr. Hanna’s license ended in 2002.



John G. Hoffmann, M.D., Disciplined for Unprofessional Conduct

In 2015, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board concluded that John G. Hoffmann, M.D., had endangered a patient by failing to properly monitor antibiotics he had prescribed for “chronic Lyme disease” and an antifungal drug he had prescribed for “abdominal candidiasis.” Hoffmann is part of a small network of so-called “Lyme literate doctors” who attribute a …

In 2015, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board concluded that John G. Hoffmann, M.D., had endangered a patient by failing to properly monitor antibiotics he had prescribed for “chronic Lyme disease” and an antifungal drug he had prescribed for “abdominal candidiasis.” Hoffmann is part of a small network of so-called “Lyme literate doctors” who attribute a multitude of common symptoms to “chronic Lyme disease,”which they assert should be treated with many weeks or months of intravenous antibiotic treatment. The scientific medical community rejects these concepts. The board ‘s order (shown below), to which Hoffmann consented, said that if he wants to treat any patient for Lyme disease, he must follow FDA guidelines. He was also ordered to take 10 hours of continuing medical education.


STATE OF WISCONSIN
BEFORE THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD


IN THE MATTER OF DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS AGAINSTJOHN G. HOFFMANN, M.D.,
RESPONDENT.
:
:
:
:
:
FINAL DECISION AND ORDER

000430


Division of Legal Services and Compliance Case No. 14 MED 015

The parties to this action for the purpose of Wis. Stat.§ 227.53 are:

John G. Hoffmann, M.D.
Post Office Box 248
Waupaca, WI 54981

Wisconsin Medical Examining Board
P.O. Box 8366
Madison, WI 53 708-8366

Division of Legal Services and Compliance
Department of Safety and Professional Services
P.O. Box 7190
Madison, WI 53707-7190

The parties in this matter agree to the terms and conditions of the attached Stipulation as the final disposition of this matter, subject to the approval of the Medical Examining Board (Board). The Board has reviewed this Stipulation and considers it acceptable.

Accordingly, the Board in this matter adopts the attached Stipulation and makes the following Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order.

FINDINGS OF FACT 1. Respondent John G. Hoffmann, M.D. (DOB July 26, 1950), is licensed in the state of Wisconsin to practice medicine and surgery, having license number 26569-20, first issued on February 1, 1985, with registration current through October 31, 2017. Respondent’s most recent address on file with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (Department) is Post Office Box 248, Waupaca, Wisconsin 54981.

2. Respondent is a general practice physician and is not board certified.

Disciplinary History

3. The Board has previously taken the following actions in regards to Respondent’s license to practice medicine and surgery in Wisconsin:

a. On October 22, 1997, the Board suspended Respondent’s license for not less than five years, with a provision for consecutive three month stays of suspension contingent upon compliance with, among other conditions, enrollment and successful participation in a drug and alcohol treatment program, submission to drug and alcohol screens, and submission of quarterly practice and therapy reports. The order was imposed because Respondent consumed alcohol while on call and treated a patient after consuming at least four alcoholic beverages.

b. On March 3, 1998, the Board ordered the suspension be stayed for one month and that Respondent appear before the board on April 22, 1998.

c. On April 30, 1998, the Board stayed the suspension for three months.

d. On September 24, 1998, the Board extended the stay of suspension for an additional three months.

e. On December 18, 1998, the Board denied Respondent’s request for another three month stay and suspended his license for violating the terms of his limited license.

f. The Board reinstated the stay on January 20, April 1 and October 2, 1999.

g. On June 22, 2000, Respondent notified the Board of his intent to retire from the practice of medicine and his wish to surrender his registration, and the Board accepted Respondent’s surrender of his registration to practice and the right to renew it.

h. On June 8, 2004, the Board reinstated the limited license of Respondent.

i. On June 26, 2006, the Board ordered a full reinstatement of Respondent’s license.

j. On May 21, 2008, the Board ordered Respondent to undergo an assessment to evaluate his ability to practice medicine at his current practice. It was also ordered that Respondent not order, prescribe, or administer any opioid or opiate for more than 30 days in any 12 month period for any patient.

k. On November 16, 2011, the Board suspended Respondent’s license pending the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding.

l. On January 18, 2012, the Board ordered the summary suspension of the Respondent’s license and registration to be continued and stayed if Respondent did not accept any new patient and complied with terms and conditions including a professional mentor, a self-study CME program, and successfully passing the SPEX exam.

m. On October 17, 2012, the Board dismissed a pending complaint against the Respondent after he completed a neuropsychological evaluation and was found to have no cognitive deficits.

Current Case

4. On March 27, 2013, Respondent first saw Patient A for continued treatment of what was charted as “Lyme Disease – documented.” Respondent documented “chronic” Lyme disease with treatment since 2011 and abdominal candidiasis (intestinal).

5. Respondent prescribed Ceftin 500mg BID, Clindamycin 300mg BID every other day, and Diflucan 20 mg on days when not taking Clindamycin, with the plan to continue Patient A on these drugs and dosages. Respondent did not order Patient A undergo regular labs while on this medication regiment.

6. On January 6, 2014, Patient A saw another physician who became concerned with Respondent’s care and treatment of Patient A, specifically Respondent’s plan to maintain Patient A on the above-described antibiotics and antifungals, and without regular lab testing. The provider subsequently filed a complaint with the Department which initiated this matter.

7. Respondent’s treatment of Patient A’s Lyme disease fell below the minimal standard of competence by his plan to maintain Patient A on high dosages of antibiotics and antifungals, and his failure to order regular labs.

8. In resolution of this matter, Respondent consents to the entry of the following Conclusions of Law and Order.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW 1. The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board has jurisdiction to act in this matter pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 448.02(3), and is authorized to enter into the attached Stipulation pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 227.44(5).

2. By the conduct described in the Findings of Fact, Respondent John G. Hoffman, M.D., engaged in unprofessional conduct pursuant to Wis. Admin. Code § Med 10.02(2)(h) (Nov. 2002) by any practice or conduct which tends to constitute a danger to the health, welfare, or safety of patient or public.

3. As a result of the above conduct, John G. Hoffmann, M.D., is subject to discipline pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 448.02(3).

ORDER1. The attached Stipulation is accepted.

2. Respondent John G. Hoffmann, M.D., is REPRIMANDED.

3. The medicine and surgery license issued to John G. Hoffmann, M.D., (license number 26569-20) is LIMITED as follows:

a. Respondent shall only treat Lyme disease in accordance with FDA-approved guidelines. This limitation is permanent.

b. Within nine (9) months of the date of this Order, Respondent shall successfully complete ten (10) hours of continuing medical education on the topic of Lyme disease and its treatment.

c. Respondent shall be responsible for obtaining the course(s) required under this Order, for providing adequate course(s) descriptions to the Department Monitor, and for obtaining pre-approval of the course(s) from the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board, or it designee, prior to commencement of the course(s).

d. The Board or its designee may reject any course(s) and may accept a course(s) for less than the number of hours for which Respondent seeks approval.

e. Within thirty (30) days of completion of each educational component, Respondent shall file an affidavit with the Department Monitor stating under oath that he has attended, in its entirety, the course(s) approved for satisfaction of this requirement along with supporting documentation of attendance from the sponsoring organizations.

f. Respondent is responsible for all costs associated with compliance with this educational requirement.

g. None of the education completed pursuant to this requirement may be used to satisfy any other continuing education requirements that have been or may be instituted by the Board or Department.

4. Within 90 days from the date of this Order, John G. Hoffmann, M.D., shall pay COSTS of this matter in the amount of $740.00.

5. Proof of successful course completion and payment of costs (made payable to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services) shall be sent by Respondent to the Department Monitor at the address below:

Department Monitor
Division of Legal Services and Compliance
Department of Safety and Professional Services
P.O. Box 7190, Madison, WI 53707-7190
Telephone (608) 267-3817; Fax (608) 266-2264
DSPSMonitoring@wisconsin.gov6. Violation of any of the terms of this Order may be construed as conduct imperiling public health, safety and welfare and may result in a summary suspension of Respondent’s license. The Board in its discretion may in the alternative impose additional conditions and limitations or other additional discipline for a violation of any of the terms of this Order. In the event Respondent fails to timely submit payment of costs as ordered or fails to submit proof of successful completion of the ordered education as set forth above, Respondent’s license (no. 26569-20) may, in the discretion of the Board or its designee, be SUSPENDED, without further notice or hearing, until Respondent has complied with payment of the costs and completion of the education.

7. This Order is effective on the date of its signing.

WISCONSIN MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD

by:_________________
A Member of the Board
Date:12/16/15
STATE OF WISCONSIN
BEFORE THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD

IN THE MATTER OF DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS AGAINSTJOHN G. HOFFMANN, M.D.,
RESPONDENT.
:
:
:
:
:
STIPULATION

000430


Division of Legal Services and Compliance Case No. 14 MED 015Respondent John G. Hoffmann, MD., and the Division of Legal Services and Compliance, Department of Safety and Professional Services stipulate as follows:

1. This Stipulation is entered into as a result of a pending investigation by the Division of Legal Services and Compliance. Respondent consents to the resolution of this investigation by Stipulation.

2. Respondent understands that by signing this Stipulation, Respondent voluntarily and knowingly waives the following rights:

  • the right to a hearing on the allegations against Respondent.er which time the State has the burden of proving those allegations by a preponderance of the evidence;
  • the right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against Respondent;
  • the right to call witnesses on Respondent’s behalf and to compel their attendance by subpoena;
  • the right to testify on Respondent’s own behalf;
  • the right to file objections to any proposed decision and to present briefs or oral arguments to the officials who are to render the final decision;
  • the right to petition for rehearing; and
  • all other applicable rights afforded to Respondent under the United States Constitution, the Wisconsin Constitution, the Wisconsin Statutes, the Wisconsin Administrative code, and other provisions of state or federal law.

3. Respondent is aware of Respondent’s right to seek legal representation and has been provided an opportunity to obtain legal counsel before signing this Stipulation.

4. Respondent agrees to the adoption of the attached Final Decision and Order by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (Board). The parties to the Stipulation consent to the entry of the attached Final Decision and Order without further notice, pleading, appearance or consent of the parties. Respondent waives all rights to any appeal of the Board’s order, if adopted in the form as attached.

5. If the terms of this Stipulation are not acceptable to the Board, the parties shall not be bound by the contents of this Stipulation, and the matter shall then be returned to the Division of Legal Services and Compliance for further proceedings. In the event that the Stipulation is not accepted by the Board, the parties agree not to contend that the Board has been prejudiced or biased in any manner by the consideration of this attempted resolution.

The parties to Stipulation that the attorney or other agent for the Division of Legal Services and Compliance and any member of the Board ever assigned as an advisor in this investigation may appear before the Board in open or closed session, without the presence of Respondent, for purposes of speaking in support of this agreement and answering questions that any member of the board may have in connection with deliberations on the Stipulation. Additionally, any such advisor may vote on whether the Board should accept this Stipulation and issue the attached Final Decisiion and Order.

7. Respondent is informed that should the Board adopt this Stipulation, the Board’s Final Decision and Order is a public record and will be published in accordance with standard Department procedure.

8. The Division of Legal Services and Compliance joins Respondent in recommending the Board adopt this Stipulation and issue the attached Final Decision and Order.

________________________________
John G. Hoffmann, M.D., Respondent
Post Office Box 248
Waupaca WI 54981
License no. 26569-20
Date: 11/13/15
________________________________
Joost Kap, Prosecuting Attorney
Division of Legal Services and Compliance
P.O. Box 7190
Madison, WI 53707-7190
Date: 11/24/15

This page was posted on July 17, 2017.



Chiropractic Pamphlets Subtitled “What Will Chiropractic Do for It?”

These pamphlets made claims that were typical of chiropractic during its early years. Each falsely alleges that the underlying cause of the condition was impingement (“subluxation”) in the spine that created interference with the normal flow of “life force” or “nerve energy”  between the brain and the cells of the organ involved. Adenoids: What will …

These pamphlets made claims that were typical of chiropractic during its early years. Each falsely alleges that the underlying cause of the condition was impingement (“subluxation”) in the spine that created interference with the normal flow of “life force” or “nerve energy”  between the brain and the cells of the organ involved.

  • Adenoids: What will Chiropractic Do for It?
  • Epilepsy: What will Chiropractic Do for It?
  • Goiter: What will Chiropractic Do for It?
  • Multiple Sclerosis: What will Chiropractic Do for It?

To read these pamphlets, click here.

In April 2020, Amazon.com had six others in the series for sale with the same subtitle: appendicitis, headaches, nervousness, neuritis, sciatica, and stomach trouble. The pamphlets themselves did not identify their author or publisher, but the Amazon seller said the author was Dr. D.L. Hultgren and “guessed” that they were published in 1940.

Three pamphlets from the series were mentioned in legal documents from a case in which the Illinois Supreme Court in upheld a criminal conviction of chiropractor Roger E. Richardson for violating the Illinois Medical Practice Act. In 1957, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld lower court verdicts that Richardson had violated the Act by diagnosing an undercover investigator with two “subluxated vertebrae” and displaying pamphlets for epilepsy, skin eruptions, and tonsillitis.



Chiropractic Pamphlets from Dynamic Communications (1970s)

Applied kinesiology is a pseudoscientific approach based on the notion that every organ dysfunction is accompanied by a specific muscle weakness, which enables diseases to be diagnosed through muscle-testing procedures. Between 1976 and 1978, Systems DC, of Pueblo Colorado developed 56 patient-education pamphlets for explaining applied kinesiology to chiropractic patients. Dynamic Communications, Inc., located at …

Applied kinesiology is a pseudoscientific approach based on the notion that every organ dysfunction is accompanied by a specific muscle weakness, which enables diseases to be diagnosed through muscle-testing procedures. Between 1976 and 1978, Systems DC, of Pueblo Colorado developed 56 patient-education pamphlets for explaining applied kinesiology to chiropractic patients. Dynamic Communications, Inc., located at the same address, was named as the publisher. To see the pamphlets and how they were marketed to chiropractors, click here.

  • Action! Gait Mechanism
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Bursitis/Tendonitis
  • Can Adults Unknowingly Harm Children?
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Wrist/Hand Problems
  • Children and Athletics
  • Children and Natural Health Care
  • Cholesterol
  • Closed Ileocecal Valve
  • Correct Lifting
  • Cranial Respiratory Function
  • Diaphragm
  • Diet for Hypoglycemia and Sugar-handling Stress
  • Digestive Disturbances
  • Early Nerve Organization: A Lifetime of Health for Your Child
  • Fatigue
  • Foot and Ankle Stability
  • Foot Pronation
  • Foot Rehabilitation
  • Functional Hypoadrenia
  • Headache
  • Hyperkinesis (Hyperactivity in Children)
  • Hypoglycemia and Sugar-handling Stress
  • Idiopathic Scoliosis
  • Infections
  • Intervetebral Disc
  • Is It a Good Shoe?
  • Knees
  • Laboratory Use in Natural Health Care
  • Learning Disability
  • Mental and Emotional Health
  • Nerve Education
  • Nerves
  • Open Ileocecal Valve
  • Postural Evaluation in Childen
  • Shoulder
  • Some Thoughts about Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Temporo-mandibular Jaw Joint
  • The Colon’s Effect on Your Health
  • The Spine — An Integrated Structure
  • The “Total Person” Concept of Health
  • This Is More Important Than Getting Well
  • Thyroid
  • Triglycerides
  • Uniquely Feminine
  • Whatever the Health Problem, Look to Your Feet. They May Have the Answer!
  • Your Back: How to Care for It
  • Your Child’s Feet

The most revealing of the pamphlets—This Is More Important Than Getting Well—is a sales pitch for chiropractic “maintenance care” throughout life. It  falsely asserts that (a) our modern culture creates structural problems that interfere with nerve function, (b) the vast majority of the American population is suffering from some type of nutritional deficiency, (c) the mental stresses of today cause hormonal imbalance that can create neurologic imbalance, and (d) health problems just beginning to develop can be found and treated before they cause actual disease.



Chiropractic Pamphlets from Chiropassion (1990s)

The pamphlets below were published by Chiropassion in 1994 or 1995. Together they claim that regular spinal checkups and adjustments throughout life will correct “subluxations” and maintain and enhance health. I have been unable to find any information about the company. To read the pamphlets, click here. Families That Get Adjusted Together Stay Healthy Together Are You …

The pamphlets below were published by Chiropassion in 1994 or 1995. Together they claim that regular spinal checkups and adjustments throughout life will correct “subluxations” and maintain and enhance health. I have been unable to find any information about the company. To read the pamphlets, click here.

  • Families That Get Adjusted Together Stay Healthy Together
  • Are You Aware of Wha’t’s Going On Behind Your Back?
  • Turn on Your Life Force with Chiropractic
  • The Spinal Column—Your Lifeline to Good Health


Chiropractic Chiropractic Pamphlets from Lewman Design Laboratories (1970s)

The pamphlets listed below were published by Lewman Design Laboratories of Raytown, Missouri, between 1977 and 1978.  To see them, click here: The Patient’s Guide to the Healing Art of Chiropractic The Patient’s Guide to Allergy and Diet The Patient’s Guide to Low Back Pain and Associated Leg Pain The Patient’s Guide to Slipped Disc …

The pamphlets listed below were published by Lewman Design Laboratories of Raytown, Missouri, between 1977 and 1978.  To see them, click here:

  • The Patient’s Guide to the Healing Art of Chiropractic
  • The Patient’s Guide to Allergy and Diet
  • The Patient’s Guide to Low Back Pain and Associated Leg Pain
  • The Patient’s Guide to Slipped Disc
  • The Patient’s Guide to Recurrent Headaches
  • The Patient’s Guide to Bursitis and Shoulder Pain
  • The Patient’s Guide to Enuresis (Bedwetting)
  • The Patient’s Guide to Sports Injuries

Headache falsely asserts that “many if not most headaches are caused by faulty alignment and mobility of one or more of the vertebrae of the neck and back.” The other pamphlets make vague, dubious claims that chiropractors can relieve symptoms and help establish and maintain optimal functioning.



Chiropractic Pamphlets from Chirocare (1980s)

These pamphlets were marketed in the 1980s by Chirocare, Inc., and Doctors Marketing Systems, Inc., both of which had the same address in Knoxville, Tennessee. The chief promoter was Don E. Johnson, D.C., who practiced chiropractic in Knoxville. The pamphlets listed below were published between 1984 and 1988. To see them, click here: Promotion to …

These pamphlets were marketed in the 1980s by Chirocare, Inc., and Doctors Marketing Systems, Inc., both of which had the same address in Knoxville, Tennessee. The chief promoter was Don E. Johnson, D.C., who practiced chiropractic in Knoxville. The pamphlets listed below were published between 1984 and 1988. To see them, click here:

Promotion to Chiropractors
  • Health Comes from Within and So Should Your Practice
  • Doctor . . . Your Greatest Loss may be in the personal injury cases you don’t get!
Promotion to Patients
  • The Roadmap to Health (24 pages)
  • Pictorial Introduction to Chiropractic (24 pages)
  • Your Greatest Loss May Occur after the Wreck
  • Allergy
  • Arthritis
  • Headache
  • Low Back Pain
  • Stress
  • Your Wrist
  • Welcome to the Beginning of the End of Your Pain
  • Your Slipped Disc

Your Roadmap to Health and Pictorial Introduction to Chiropractic greatly exaggerate what chiropractors can do.

Allergy falsely states that “in almost every case of allergy, there is an underlying condition cause known as sub-lux-a-tion. This results in reduced nerve and blood supply and immune weakness.”

Arthritis falsely claims that “preventative chiropractic measures will greatly reduce the chances of arthritis” and that “the key to freedom from arthritis is early check-ups for hidden spinal problems that accumulate and manifest themselves in the form of arthritis.”

Headache falsely states that “most headaches are thge result of nerve pressure at the base of the skull.”



Chiropractic Pamphlets from Biological Arts Company (1969-1971)

These pamphlets were published between 1969 and 1971 by the Biological Arts Company. I am unable to find any background information about the company. To see the pamphlets, click here. Subluxation Prevent Spinal Disabilities Structural Spinal Disorders Pain Due to Structural Spinal Disorders Back Pain Your Child’s Posture and Health “As a Twig Is Bent …

These pamphlets were published between 1969 and 1971 by the Biological Arts Company. I am unable to find any background information about the company. To see the pamphlets, click here.

  • Subluxation
  • Prevent Spinal Disabilities
  • Structural Spinal Disorders
  • Pain Due to Structural Spinal Disorders
  • Back Pain
  • Your Child’s Posture and Health
  • “As a Twig Is Bent . . . So Grows the Child”
  • Headache
  • Head. Neck and Shoulder Pain
  • Recurrent Headaches and Chiropractic
  • Recurrent Occipital Headache . . . .Due to Faulty Spinal Alignment and Mobility
  • Low Back Pain with Associated Leg Pain
  •  Nerve Pain . . . Due to Hidden Spinal Disorders
  • Shoulder – Neck – Arm Pain and Chiropractic
  • Sciatica and Chiropractic
  • Slipped Disc and Chiropractic
  • Spine and Shoulder Pain
  • Your Spine and Muscle Pain
  • Your Spine, Nerves and Health
  • Your Spine-Nerves and Chiropractic
  • Your Spine-Nerves and Whiplash Nerve Injury
  • Whiplash Spinal Injury

Pain Due to Structural Spinal Disorders falsely claims that “minute deviations from normal alignment and mobility of a single spinal segment may cause not only disabling back pain but may also interfere with the normal nerve supply of the part of the body and thereby affect the total health pattern of the individual. . . . It logically follows that when a misaligned vertebra pinches or irritates a nerve supplying any part of the body whether that part is a back muscle when a misaligned vertebra pinches or irritates a nerve supplying any part of the body, whether that part is a back muscle, a leg or a vital organ . . . stomach, kidney etc. that organ may suffer pain and loss of function.”

Your Child’s Posture and Health falsely suggests that “minor falls, strains, and daily incidents in the life of an active child is a major cause of childhood spinal disorders” that, if undetected and untreated “may develop into major disabilities.”

 



Chiropractic Pamphlets from Health Briefs Publications (1970s)

These pamphlets were acquired during the early 1970s by investigators who visited chiropractors in Eastern Pennsylvania. I am unable to find any background information about the publisher. To see the pamphlets, click here. Think Chiropractic First Don’t Keep It a Secret Blame for the Nation’s Poor Health Is Misdirected Athletic Injuries Chest Pain Headaches Sciatica …

These pamphlets were acquired during the early 1970s by investigators who visited chiropractors in Eastern Pennsylvania. I am unable to find any background information about the publisher. To see the pamphlets, click here.

  • Think Chiropractic First
  • Don’t Keep It a Secret
  • Blame for the Nation’s Poor Health Is Misdirected
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Chest Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Industrial Injuries
  • Plan Now: Take Your Family to Chiropractor Today
  • How Parents Ignore Children’s Spine
  • Tonsillectomies
  • Why Organized Medicine Opposes Any New Health Principle

“How Parents Ignore Children’s Spine” asserts that “periodic spinal examinations of your child’s spine and nerve system should be a major part of regular health routine.”

“Don’t Keep It a Secret” claims that”as more and more millions of Americans become chiropractiuc patienbts, health care costs will be lowered.”

“Plan Now: Take Your Family to Chiropractor Today” claims that “headaches, abnormal fatigue, nervousness, sleeplessness, indigestion, colds, stiff neck, joint pains, muscular aches and pains are only a few of the early warning signals that a chiropractic adjustment is indicated.”

These claims have no scientific support.



Pamphlets Published by RFS Publishing Co. (1970-1978)

RFS Publishing, of Rhinebeck, New York, was owned by Richard F. Smith, D.C. and Frances A. Smith.  The pamphlets listed below were published between 1970 and 1978. To see them, click here. Chiropractic Health Care Blood Pressure Bursitis Can Exercise Cure Back Pain? Enuresis – Bed Wetting Headache Questions & Answers Migraine: The Terrible Headache! …

RFS Publishing, of Rhinebeck, New York, was owned by Richard F. Smith, D.C. and Frances A. Smith.  The pamphlets listed below were published between 1970 and 1978. To see them, click here.

  • Chiropractic Health Care
  • Blood Pressure
  • Bursitis
  • Can Exercise Cure Back Pain?
  • Enuresis – Bed Wetting
  • Headache Questions & Answers
  • Migraine: The Terrible Headache!
  • Sciatica
  • Slipped Disk
  • Ubiquitous Headache
  • Anatomy oif Whiplash Neck In juries

The “Chiropractic Health Care” Pamphlet  claimed that “regular chiropractic examination and analysis of your body structure is an effective preventive means of maintaining health and eliminating the need for dangerous crisis sick care” and that “everyone alive can live longer, healthier lives with the help of chiropractic.”

The “Migraine” pamphlet claimed that chiropractic can provide permanent relief of symptoms by attacking their cause.

The “Blood Pressure” pamphlet claimed thatregular chiropractic care can “help keep your body functioning normally and keep your blood pressure within normal limits.”

These claims have no scientific support.



Chiropractic Pamphlets from Cindy Publications, Inc.

These pamphlets were originally published in 1976 and 1977 by Cindy Publications of Grain Valley, New York. The company’s president was George T. Hackleman, D.C. To see the pamphlets, click here. Messages for Adults The pamphlets as a group suggest that virtually everything can be caused by pinched nerves and corrected by spinal adjustments. X-ray …

These pamphlets were originally published in 1976 and 1977 by Cindy Publications of Grain Valley, New York. The company’s president was George T. Hackleman, D.C. To see the pamphlets, click here.

Messages for Adults

The pamphlets as a group suggest that virtually everything can be caused by pinched nerves and corrected by spinal adjustments.

  • X-ray and Chiropractic
  • New Chiropractic Patient
  • Pinched Nerves
  • Arm & Shoulder Pain
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Migraine Headache
  • Nerves Just Nerves
  • Sciatica
  • Backache
  • Whiplash

The “Nerves Just Nerves” pamphlet claims that “nerve ‘short circuit'” can cause “dizziness, headaches, nervousness, eye and ear problems, high blood pressure, chronic tiredness, migraine headaches, nervous breakdown, glandular troubles, allergy, skin disorders, gall bladder troubles, poor circulation, low blood pressure, rheumatism, and scores of uncomfortable symptoms.”

The “Pinched Nerve” pamphlet claims that “pinched nerves can masquerade as ulcers, eczema, bursitis, bronchitis, dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, thyroid trouble . . . the list is endless.”

The Migraine Headache” pamphlet claims that chiropractors can “banish the migraine forever’ by releasing the pitched nerves.

The “High Blood Pressure” pamphlet states that “since the mechanism of blood pressure is controlled by the nervous system . . . the chiropractor is the doctor to ask if you think you are suffering from high blood pressure.”

These claims have no scientific support.

Messages for Children

These pamphlets describe a chiropractor as a “friend,” suggest that that spinal misalignments can make them feel bad, “feeling bad,” and and recommend keeping the spine “on track” with chiropractic adjustments.

  • Why Do I Go to a Chiropractor?
  • Now I’ll Make It Plain. . . Your Spine’s Like a tTain!
  • Have You Got Nerve!
  • Is That Spine Mine?

There is no scientific evidence that children need periodic spinal checkups or adjustments.



Disciplinary Actions against Howard P. Levy, D.O.

Howard P. Levy has been disciplined twice by the Medical Board of California. In 2006, as detailed below, he was accused of gross negligence in his management of a patient whom he had seen 65 times in his office and 3 or 4 times at the patient’s home. The treatment included several intravenous hydrogen peroxide …

Howard P. Levy has been disciplined twice by the Medical Board of California. In 2006, as detailed below, he was accused of gross negligence in his management of a patient whom he had seen 65 times in his office and 3 or 4 times at the patient’s home. The treatment included several intravenous hydrogen peroxide infusions, which the board considered “experimental.” The accusation also stated that Dr. Levy’s records were not accurate in that they were “illegible, disorganized, and incomplete” and contained no consent form, no indication of what dosage was used, and no list of the patient’s problems. In 2008, the board ordered Levy to pay $15,000 for costs and serve on probation for five years, during which he was required to take a course on record-keeping and have his records monitored for one year.

In 2017, Levy was accused of negligence, inadequate record-keeping, and/or administering treatments that were not medically indicated to seven patients and one undercover investigator from the board. The case was settled with a stipulation under which Levy was assessed $15,000 for costs and serve five more years of probation, during which he was required to (a) complete a clinical competency assessment and training program; (b) take continuing education courses in pharmacology and medical ethics; and (c) have his practice monitored for at least two years.

The Michigan Department of  Licensing and Regulatory Web site indicates that between 1996 and 2003, Levy was suspended once, placed on probation three times, and fined four times. The details are not posted, but the 2017 California complaint states that the suspension was due to a conviction for fraudulent billing.



BEFORE THE
OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA

In the Matter of the Accusation Against:

HOWARD P. LEVY, D.O.
1700 N. Via Norte
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon Certificate No. 20A4148

Respondent.


|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
Case No. 00-2005-001494

OAH NO.

ACCUSATION

Complainant alleges:

PARTIES

1. Donald Krpan (Complainant) brings this Accusation solely in his officcapacity as the Executive Director (A) of the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.

2. On or about August 3, 1977, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California issued Osteopathic Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate No. 20A4148 to HOWARD P. LEVY, D.O. (Respondent). The Osteopathic Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate was in full force and effect at all times relevant to the charges brought herein and will expire on February 29, 2008, unless renewed.

JURISDICTION

3. This Accusation is brought before the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, under the authority of the following laws. All section references are to the Business and Professions Code unless otherwise indicated.

4. Section 2234 of the Code states:

“The Division of Medical Quality shall take action against any licensee who is charged with unprofessional conduct. In addition to other provisions of this article, unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

“(a) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, assisting in or abetting the violation of, or conspiring to violate any provision of this chapter.

“(b) Gross negligence.

“(c) Repeated negligent acts. To be repeated, there must be two or more negligent acts or omissions. An initial negligent act or omission followed by a separate and distinct departure from the applicable standard of care shall constitute repeated negligent acts.

(1) An initial negligent diagnosis fo11owed by an act or omission medically appropriate for that negligent diagnosis of the patient shall constitute a single negligent act.

“(2) When the standard of care requires a change in the diagnosis, act, or omission that constitutes the negligent act described in paragraph (I), including, but not limited to, a reevaluation of the diagnosis or a change in treatment, and the licensee’s conduct departs from the applicable standard of care, each departure constitutes a separate and distinct breach of the standard of care.

“(d) Incompetence.

“(e) The commission of any act involving dishonesty or corruption which is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a physician and surgeon. “(f) Any action or conduct which would have warranted the denial of a certificate. “(g) The practice of medicine from this state into another state or country without meeting the legal requirements of that state or country for the practice of medicine. Section 2314 shall not apply to this subdivision. This subdivision shall become operative upon the implementation of the proposed registration program described in Section 2052.5.”

5. Section 3600 of the Code states that the law governing licentiates of the Osteopathic Medical Board of California is found in the Osteopathic Act and in Chapter 5 of Division 2, relating to medicine.

6. Section 3600-2 of the Code states:

The Osteopathic Medical Board of California shall enforce those portions of the Medical Practice Act identified as Article 12 (commencing with Section 2220), of Chapter 5 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, as now existing or hereafter amended, as to persons who hold certificates subject to the jurisdiction of the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, however, persons who elect to practice using the term or suffix 11M.D.11 as provided in Section 2275 of the Business and Professions Code, as now existing or hereafter amended, shall not be subject to this section, and the Medical Board of California shall enforce the provisions of the article as to persons who make the election. After making the election, each person so electing shall apply for renewal of his or her certificate to the Medical Board of California, and the Medical Board of California shall issue renewal certificates in the same manner as other renewal certificates are issued by it.”

7. Section 2266 of the Code states: “The failure of a physician and surgeon to maintain adequate and accurate records relating to the provision of services to their patients constitutes unprofessional conduct.”

8. Section 125.3 of the Code states, in pertinent part, that the Board may request the administrative law judge to direct a licentiate found to have committed a violation or violations of the licensing act to pay a sum not to exceed the reasonable costs of the investigation and enforcement of the case.

FIRST CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE
(Gross Negligence)

9. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under Code sections 3600, 3600-2 and 2234 as defined by 2234 (b) in that he was grossly negligent in connection with his care, treatment and management of patient P.K. The circumstances are as follows:

10. Between on or about February 16, 2004, and March 11, 2005, P.K., a then 82-year-old male, was a patient of Respondent. Respondent saw P.K. for approximately 65 office visits and respondent treated P.K. on three or four home visits.

11. During this time, most of the care provided to P.K. by Respondent was directed to five chronic medical problems which included COPD, chronic olecranon bursitis, osteoarthritis of the knees, lower urinary tract symptoms and chronic oropharyngeal discomfort attributed to a fungal infection (yeast).

12. Respondent did not believe that P.K.’s oropharyngeal discomfort or respiratory distress and possible fungal (yeast) infection was being adequately treated with conventional therapy and recommended to P.K. that he undergo a series of treatments by intravenous infusion of hydrogen peroxide. Although Respondent knew and told his patient that the use of hydrogen peroxide was experimental, he did not follow approved research protocol for its use nor did he document the patient’s consent to the experimental use of hydrogen peroxide. Respondent treated P.K. with hydrogen peroxide on several occasions.

13. Patient P.K. also suffered from chronic olecranon bursitis. The olecranon is located at the posterior point of the elbow and has a synovial membrane that may become affected by gout, rheumatoid arthritis, sepsis, hemorrhage, or trauma. Fluid accumulated in the patient’s olecranon bursa and Respondent treated the condition by joint aspiration on eight occasions. On or about January 10, 2005, following the seventh aspiration, Respondent sent the synovial fluid to a laboratory for analysis but did not request a bacterial culture. Respondent never recommended surgical removal as definitive treatment.

14. Between on or about January 27, 2005, and February 9, 2005, Respondent diagnosed P.K. with interstitial fibrosis and treated him with Imuran (azathioprine). The medical records do not contain medical evidence or findings to support the diagnosis or the use of Imuran, a powerful drug with potential adverse reactions. Also, Respondent did. not consider that the use of experimental hydrogen peroxide might be the cause of P.K.’s condition.

15. The Respondent’s medical records for P.K. are not adequate or accurate in that they are illegible, disorganized, and incomplete. There is no initial history and physical examination of the patient, no general consent form, no specific consent form for the use of experimental hydrogen peroxide treatment, no report of the concentration of hydrogen peroxide used when administered, and no problem list.

SECOND CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE

Repeated Negligent Acts)

16. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under Code sections 3600, 3600-2 and 2234 as defined by 2234 (c) in that he was repeatedly negligent in connection with his care, treatment and management of patient P. K. as set forth in paragraphs 9- 15 above which are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth.

THIRD CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE

(Incompetence)

17. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under Code sections 3600, 3600-2 and 2234 as defined by 2234 (d) in that he was incompetent in connection with his care, treatment and management of patient P. K. as set forth in paragraphs 9-1 5 above which are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth.

FOURTH CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE

(Records)

18. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under Code sections 3600, 3600-2 and 2234 as defined by 2266 in that his medical records for patient P.K. are neither adequate nor accurate as set forth in paragraphs 9-15 above which are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, Complainant requests that a hearing be held on the matters herein alleged, and that following the hearing, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California issue a decision:

1. Revoking or suspending Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon Number 20A4148, issued to HOWARD P. LEVY, D.O.

2. Ordering HOWARD P. LEVY, D.O. to pay the Osteopathic Medical Board of California the reasonable costs of the investigation and enforcement of this case, pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 125.3; and, if placed on probation, the costs of probation monitoring; and,

3. Taking such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper.

DATED: 7-20-06

________________________
DONALD KRPAN
Executive Director
Osteopathic Medical Board of California
State of California
Complainant

BILL LOCKYER, Attorney General of the State of California
HARINDER K. KAPUR, State Bar No. 198769
Deputy Attorney General California
Department of Justice
110 West “A” Street, Suite 1100
San Diego, CA 92101
P.O. Box 85266
San Diego, CA 92186-5266
Telephone: (619) 645-2075
Facsimile: (619) 645-2061

Attorneys for Complainant

This page was posted on March 25, 2010.



Antivaccination Ad Criticized (1981)

In March 1981, FDA Consumer magazine published the following account of a chiropractic ad that was severely criticized Public Disservice Announcement “Your Child Does Not Have To Be Immunized For School,” read an advertisement in a metropolitan Detroit newspaper. “Would you let your child have live puss from sick animals or the use of dead bacteria …

In March 1981, FDA Consumer magazine published the following account of a chiropractic ad that was severely criticized

Public Disservice Announcement

“Your Child Does Not Have To Be Immunized For School,” read an advertisement in a metropolitan Detroit newspaper. “Would you let your child have live puss from sick animals or the use of dead bacteria put into their veins?

The ad horrified the health officials who saw it, and not just because of the bad grammar and poor spelling, such as pus with two s’s. An investigator in FDA’s Detroit District showed the district’s consumer affairs officer (CAO), and she called the newspaper. None of the editors could fathom how an ad so misleading and grossly inaccurate had gotten onto the “Back-To-School” pages. Not only were the statements about vaccines completely false, but the ad falsely claimed to be a public service announcement. The name Taylor Straight Chiropractic Center was in large type (along with the phone numbers and office hours) and the copy read: “Health comes totally from the body. Take care of your health and your family’s health through a spinal exam today.” The editors agreed with the CAO that the ad was a disservice to the paper’s readers. At her suggestion, they printed an editorial rebuttal based on an interview with the director of the Wayne County Department of Public Health. The editor also had a few words with the newspaper’s advertising staff.

The CAO contacted the Michigan Department of Health, which promptly wrote a “letter to the editor,” which, when published, termed the chiropractic ad “a flagrant distortion of facts.”

No vaccine is produced for, required of, or given to children which uses pus or dead bacteria from sick animals. All vaccines are given intramuscularly or subcutaneously, not into veins as the ad implies.” The letter pointed out that before vaccines were available, thousands of children were crippled—or killed—by diphtheria, whooping cough, rubella, measles, and polio. Before polio vaccine was licensed in 1955, for instance, 30,000 to 60,000 cases of polio were reported each year. Now there are fewer than 25 cases per year.

The letter added: “Ironically, one of the few cases of diphtheria reported in 1979 occurred in the 5-year-old son of a California chiropractor, who had signed a waiver against immunizations. The boy was the only unimmunized child in his class. He subsequently died of the disease.”

What worried both Federal and State agencies was that the Detroit newspaper was part of a large chain of weekly papers. The health department contacted all county and local health departments across the State, advising them to watch for similar advertisements. The department also contacted the State Attorney General’s office and the Department of Licensing and Regulation. Those agencies are investigating the matter and are considering taking action against the chiropractor for unethical conduct.

 

Recently, when I saw this article, I was curious about whether the chiropractor was ever disciplined. Searching with Google, I was able to determine that the ad had been placed in the Detroit Free Press by Joseph L. Belcher, D.C.

I also found that on May 6, 1981, the Lansing State Journal published an article titled “Vaccine Issue Divides Board,” which said that the board was equally divided about whether to pursue a complaint and had tabled the matter without settling a date for reconsideration. No further action was taken.



Stephen Barrett, M.D. Biographical Sketch

Stephen Barrett, M.D., a retired psychiatrist who lives near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has achieved national renown as an author, editor, and consumer advocate. In addition to operating Quackwatch, he is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In 1984, he received an FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition …

Stephen Barrett, M.D., a retired psychiatrist who lives near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has achieved national renown as an author, editor, and consumer advocate. In addition to operating Quackwatch, he is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In 1984, he received an FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition quackery. In 1986, he was awarded honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association. From 1987 through 1989, he taught health education at The Pennsylvania State University. He is listed in Marquis Who‘s Who in America and received the 2001 Distinguished Service to Health Education Award from the American Association for Health Education. He is also a board member of Prescription Justice, a nonprofit group that is working toward lower drug prices. His research library, pictured below, houses more than 5,000 books and 100,000 documents and recordings collected over a 50-year period.

An expert in medical communications, Dr. Barrett operates 23 Web sites; co-edits Consumer Health Digest (a free weekly electronic newsletter); and has been a peer-review panelist for several top medical journals. He has written thousands of articles and delivered more than 300 talks at colleges, universities, medical schools, and professional meetings. His 53 books include The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America and eight editions of the college textbook Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions. One book he edited, Vitamins and Minerals: Help or Harm?, by Charles Marshall, Ph.D., won the American Medical Writers Association award for best book of 1983 for the general public and became a special publication of Consumer Reports Books. His other classics include Dubious Cancer Treatment, published by the Florida Division of the American Cancer Society; Health Schemes, Scams, and Frauds, published by Consumer Reports Books; The Vitamin Pushers: How the “Health Food” Industry Is Selling America a Bill of Goods, published by Prometheus Books; and Reader’s Guide to “Alternative” Health Methods, published by the American Medical Association. His most recent book, Homeopathy in America: The Ups and Downs of a Medical Heresy, was published in 2019 by Kindle Books. From 2012 through 2016, he served as North American co-editor of the journal Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapy (FACT). His media appearances have included Dateline, the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC Prime Time, Donahue, CNN, National Public Radio, and more than 200 radio and television talk show interviews.

Since moving to North Carolina in 2007, Dr. Barrett has been swimming competitively and has won 140 state championship events, 40 medals in national events, and 16 medals in international events and has set 19 state records. At the 2012 U.S. Masters Spring Nationals, he and three teammates earned Relay All-American Awards for the fastest times swum in the U.S. in 2012 in the age 75-79 men’s 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay events. During the 2013 season, he won 3 three gold medals at the North Carolina Senior Games, 3 silver medals at the National Senior Games, and became a world champion by winning the age 80-84 men’s 50-meter butterfly event at the Huntsman World Senior Games. In 2014, he won 2 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals at the U.S. Masters Summer National Championships and 5 gold and 1 silver medal at the North Carolina Senior Games. In 2016, he became certified as an instructor in the U.S. Masters Adult Learn-to-Swim program.

The Center for Inquiry began maintaining the Quackwatch network of Web sites in February 2020 and will receive Dr. Barrett’s research library later this year.

Additional Information
How to Contact Dr. Barrett (Please mention how you found this Web site)
  • E-mail: Click here
  • Snail mail:
    287 Fearrington Post
    Pittsboro, NC 27312 .
  • Telephone: (919) 533-6009
Any Questions?

When time permits, your questions related to consumer health will be answered by e-mail. The most interesting ones will be posted (without the sender’s name) to this Web site. Before sending a question, please search Quackwatch to see whether the topic has been covered! If you prefer to phone, please send an email message first so I can retain your contact information.

This page was revised on March 5, 2020.



Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism: Appendix C

Appendix C: Number of Chiropractors in Practice ©1963, Samuel Homola, D.C. It is difficult to determine the actual number of practicing chiropractors. Most chiropractic literature refers to “25,000 licensed chiropractors.” An October, 1959, article on chiropractic in McCall’s magazine, for example, stated that there are “30,000 chiropractors.” Not every licensed chiropractor is a practicing chiropractor, …

Appendix C:
Number of Chiropractors in Practice

©1963, Samuel Homola, D.C.

It is difficult to determine the actual number of practicing chiropractors. Most chiropractic literature refers to “25,000 licensed chiropractors.” An October, 1959, article on chiropractic in McCall’s magazine, for example, stated that there are “30,000 chiropractors.” Not every licensed chiropractor is a practicing chiropractor, however. Dividing the conglomeration of chiropractic technics among practicing chiropractors has taken its toll of practitioners as well as its toll of chiropractic colleges. The practice failure among newly-graduated chiropractors is extremely high, partly because of the lack of recognition and reciprocity with other healing arts, and partly because of the severe economic competition between chiropractors adhering to one school of thought or another. One chiropractic publication stated that 54% of all chiropractic graduates fail during the first year of practice [1]

A January, 1960, chiropractic publication stated that there were 30,000 chiropractors practicing in 1930, and that this figure had dwindled to less than 20,000. “At one time or another there have been 88, yes, 88 Chiropractic colleges,” the publication advised. “Today, there are 17 in existence. Our schools are dying, our numbers are decreasing and yet we remain in our ivory towers, ignorant in our bliss, apathetic in our attitudes, refusing to see and to admit that we are a dying profession and worse yet unwilling to do anything about it.” [2]

It is difficult to understand why figures on the number of chiropractic colleges and chiropractic practitioners will differ so markedly from one source to another, or even from the same source from time to time. In trying to determine the actual number of practicing chiropractors, one would probably inquire first of licensing boards in each state. This may not give a correct count, however, since a good number of chiropractors apparently fail to succeed in practice and, as a result, go into other fields of work. Licenses are often maintained in a state by such practitioners, along with those retired. In California in 1958, the state with the largest number of chiropractors, only 54% of more than 4,000 licensed chiropractors were in full-time practice, with some 23% of the total number in part-time practice. [3]

Figures compiled by the Bureau of the Census would probably give the most accurate count of the number of chiropractors.

The 1930 census report stated that there were 11,916 chiropractors designated as “gainful workers.” In 1940, this figure had decreased to 10,629 “employed” chiropractors. In 1950, however, the census reported that there were 13,091 chiropractors in the experienced civilian labor force (the National Chiropractic Association reported that there were more than 20,000 licensed chiropractors). According to prepublication reports released in December of 1962, the 1960 census counted 14,360 chiropractors in the “experienced civilian labor force” (which includes both employed and unemployed practitioners), showing a 9.7% increase over the 1950 figures.

References
1. Nimmo RL. The Receptor. Volume 1, Number 4, 1959.
2. Fountain Head News. Palmer School of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa, January, 1960.
3. Chiropractic in California. Los Angeles: Stanford Research Institute and the Haynes Foundation, 1960.

Postscript ||| Table of Contents